Twitter’s ‘everything app’: a marketer’s dream?

Condemning ChatGPT, a failed rocket launch and copying WeChat: Musk is busy again.

Twitter owner Elon Musk is making good on his plan to create “X, the everything app”, since he merged Twitter with shell company X Corp on March 15, 2023.

Eyebrows were also raised after the tech billionaire joined Wozniak and 1,000 tech leaders in an open letter condemning OpenAI’s ChatGPT last month, weeks before starting X.AI, his own AI-led startup aimed at rivalling OpenAI.

From one tech launch, to the short-lived flight of the SpaceX Starship last week which blew up after take off, scepticism around Musk and his plans is growing. However, an ‘everything app’ that copies Chinese super app WeChat could be the answer to marketers’ prayers.

The idea behind X is to function as a ‘super app’, a concept made popular in Asia combining messaging, social media and payments, and moving away from ad revenue.

The Tesla CEO has publicly admired the Chinese super app for a while, stating recently that “WeChat is kickass, we don’t have anything like WeChat outside of China”. So, he will just “copy them”.

— Tesla Owners Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV) April 18, 2023

“This could be the future of mobile marketing for the western world”

“If the success of WeChat in the East is anything to go by, then this could be the future of mobile marketing for the western world,” commented Julie Lock, Marketing Director UK&I at HubSpot. “Whether you are a fan of Musk or not, users like WeChat and the Twitter owner is a disruptive force; he could be on to something.

“Marketers and organisations have lots of channels to consider. This could be impacting their bottom line, because according to Wunderman Thompson, 47% of retail leaders say there are too many channels for them to effectively deliver the best sales experience.

“Determining how much time and money to invest in one platform isn’t easy and this could just add to the list of channels marketers must consider. However, if it takes off, it could significantly reduce the time burden if you can share ads, content, surveys, news and purchases all in a single app.”

During the turbulent process of purchasing Twitter, Musk revealed that the deal would fast forward his X project by three to five years.

“This level of integration combined with reaching large audiences would be powerful,” continued Lock. “It would improve the customer experience as marketing, sales and customer service would all happen in the one place, resulting in exceptional insights. That full buying cycle – what works, what doesn’t work, patterns and behaviour – is a marketer’s dream. A ‘super app’ like this would also speed up the ad to purchase process, bringing in revenue more quickly and breaking down silos across marketing, sales and service within a business.

“Marketers should watch closely how this develops. Given Musk is behind it, as a marketer, I trust it. However, with Musk behind X Corp, the question is whether users will trust and use it.”