Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal has announced via the social network that Elon Musk is joining the Twitter board after buying a 9.2% stake in the company. According to Agrawal, discussions with Elon Musk have been going on for several weeks now; Agrawal believes Musk would “bring great value” to the board. In response to the series of tweets, Elon Musk chimed in saying that he looks forward to the board making significant improvements to Twitter in the coming months.
I’m excited to share that we’re appointing @elonmusk to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board.— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 5, 2022
He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on @Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term. Welcome Elon!— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 5, 2022
One of the first improvements that look set to arrive is an edit feature. On Monday, Musk released a new Twitter poll asking if people want an edit button. At the time of writing, the poll is still open but after 3.6 million votes ‘yse’ is currently beating ‘on’ 73.4% to 26.6%. Having an edit feature is something that many Twitter users would like, if you make a spelling mistake now, you have to delete your entire tweet and repost it.
Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
Another aspect that could change under Twitter is its moderation policies – though this is very unlikely given the pressure the platform has received from the government to tackle disinformation. According to Reuters, Elon Musk describes himself as a free speech absolutist which suggests that he would be happy to see anything posted on the platform. Moderation policies on what can be posted have seen people leave to so-called free speech Twitter alternatives.
The same Reuters report also highlighted Musk's disdain for NFTs and Web3. While not really anything to do with Twitter right now, in the future more platforms could become more decentralised as part of Web3. With Musk on the board, we could see Twitter hold onto its more centralised form.
While Musk will be in a very strong position as a Twitter board member to push through his agenda, there will still be another 11 people to contend with so he will not be able to get everything he wants if he finds opposition, as he likely will on the free speech point.