Elon Musk Suggests Twitter Could Compete With YouTube and Substack

He suggested some ambitious changes

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Twitter could have some unexpected rivals soon.
STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Now that Elon Musk has completed his acquisition of Twitter, what does the future of the app have in store? The aspect that’s gotten the largest amount of coverage to date has been Musk’s plan to charge $8 for verified accounts — with a corresponding crackdown on accounts impersonating other people. But a look at some of Musk’s tweets from over the weekend show another element of what Musk has in store — and it could involve rivalries with some other high-profile tech companies.

As The Guardian noted on Sunday, Musk declared that “creator monetization for all forms of content” would be coming to the platform. A few people asked him for specifics, with Musk provided, up to an extent. In one thread, Tim Dodd of the YouTube channel Everyday Astronaut wrote, “If twitter could handle the full length feature videos that I produce and can offer a similar monetization system like YouTube does, I would consider uploading my full videos here too for sure.”

Musk responded by clarifying the site’s current limits when it comes to video. “We can do 42 min chunks at 1080 resolution now for new Blue, so you could break up a longer video,” Musk responded. “The 42 min limit should be fixed next month.” He then asked for some feedback from YouTube creators.

Notably, in response to a comment by tech reviewer Quinn Nelson about YouTube’s ad revenue shares — “YouTube gives creators 55% of ad revenue, FWIW.” — Musk responded, “We can beat that.”

Interestingly, Musk also wrote about adding the capacity “to attach long-form text to tweets” — and clarified that this would involve a capacity for subscriptions or donations to the writer.

On one hand, this all seems very ambitious, especially for a company that just cut half of its staff. (Though, to be fair, Twitter already owns a newsletter company.) Then again, given Musk’s oft-stated goal of creating an “everything app” called X, a version of Twitter that’s also competing with YouTube and Substack seems like it could be one step on the way of getting there.

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