Elon Musk suggests plan to create ‘everything app’


Billionaire businessman Elon Musk recently confirmed that he is still interested in buying social media service Twitter. The move came after Musk withdrew an earlier offer to buy Twitter for $44 billion.

In a recent tweet on the subject, Musk wrote: “Buying Twitter is a accelerator to create X, all application.” Musk did not provide details on his brief statement. The tweet led many to wonder what he meant by “app everything”.

Reuters reporter Sheila Dang sought to explain what kind of app it was. She noted that all apps, often referred to as “super apps”, have become very popular in Asia. Due to this success, tech companies around the world have tried to copy the idea.

What is a great app?

A super app, or what Musk calls an “everything app,” has been described as an app that offers a series of services to users. This could include messaging, social media, direct payment services, and online shopping.

Scott Galloway is a professor of marketing at New York University and co-host of the technology podcast Pivot. He said last year that so-called mega-apps are widely used in Asia because mobile devices are the main way people access the internet.

What are some examples of great apps?

An industry estimate shows that Chinese super app WeChat has over 1 billion monthly users and is a big part of daily life in China. People can use the app to call a rideshare or taxi, send money to friends and family, or make payments in stores. In 2018, some Chinese cities began testing WeChat for an electronic ID system that would be linked to user accounts, the South China Morning Post reported.

Another leading super app in Southeast Asia is called Grab. He offers food deliverycarpooling, on-demand parcel delivery, financial services and investment.

Why does Elon Musk want to create a great app?

During a Q&A event with Twitter employees in June, Musk noted that there’s no such thing as a super app like WeChat outside of Asia. “You basically live on WeChat in China,” he said, adding that he saw a chance to create such an app.

Adding more tools and services to Twitter could also help Musk achieve his high growth goals for the company. During his meeting with employees, Musk said he wants Twitter to grow from its 237 million users to “at least a billion.”

Some of Musk’s phone records were released during his legal disputes with Twitter over buying the company. Recordings showed that people close to the billionaire repeatedly texted the idea of ​​adding digital payments to Twitter.

Have other US tech companies tried this?

The parent company of the Snapchat messaging app, Snap Inc., introduced a direct payment system called Snapcash in the past. But the company ended the service in 2018. Snap also expanded into mobile gaming, but recently ended that offering as part of a cost-cutting plan.

Meta’s Facebook and Instagram services have also attempted to expand beyond social media and messaging into online retail businesses.

I am Brian Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from Reuters and The Associated Press.


words in this story

accelerator nm something that makes something move faster

application nm a computer program that performs a special function, usually found on mobile phones

deliver v. transport goods from one place to another


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