Everything you need to know about Twitter’s first day under Elon Musk

The world changed last night when Elon Musk completed his takeover of Twitter.

Why it’s important: One of the most influential communication platforms is now in the hands of an unpredictable leader.

Catch up quickly: The nearly eight-month long saga ended on Thursday evening, a day before today’s court-ordered deadline.

The big picture: Despite shrugging off the idea in the past, Musk has reportedly named himself CEO of Twitter, for now, and he’s expected to quick decisions.

  • His handling of account suspensions is the most anticipated.
  • Musk has said he intends to limit permanent bans and believes in making Twitter a haven for free speech, raising concerns about increased hate speech and division.
  • Musk also announced today that Twitter will form a content moderation council and that “no major content decisions or account reinstatements” will happen until it gathers, until also tweeting“Anyone suspended for minor and questionable reasons will be released from Twitter jail.”

Reality check: Advertising accounts for almost all of Twitter’s revenue, and advertisers are watching Musk’s next move closely.

  • General Motors told CNBC on Friday that it is temporarily suspending paid ads on Twitter while it gets a sense of “the direction of the platform under its new ownership.”
  • Musk has been aware of this kind of risk, writing to advertisers on Thursday that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free hell.”

What you should see: Musk essentially fulfills the role of a private equity firm, Bloomberg credit reporter Paula Seligson noted this morning during a Twitter Spaces conversation.

  • If he acts like one, he needs to cut costs significantly and increase revenue, she noted.
  • Twitter’s debt load has grown from about $2 billion to more than $13 billion, with an annual interest charge of $1.2 billion going forward, more than 12 times what it is now, according to Seligson.

The bottom line: For Musk to make Twitter successful, and increase its value to one day sell it back to public investors — it’s in his best interest to keep its content “branded” for advertisers.

  • It’s important that they stick around to fund his vision for Twitter, which could be some kind of super app.

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