Twitter shares jump after Elon Musk takes board seat

Twitter shares jump after Elon Musk takes board seat

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Elon Musk’s investment in Twitter comes after he said he was considering building a new social media platform.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

Elon Musk has asked Twitter users if they want an edit button to be added to the platform — hours after taking a 9.2% passive stake in the company, making him the largest shareholder.

Twitter’s stock rose over 4% on the Nasdaq stock exchange in premarket trading Tuesday morning. It was up 1.04% at 6:41 a.m. ET and trading around $51 a share. The rise comes hot on the heels of Twitter’s best day of trading since its IPO in 2013, with shares surging over 27% on Monday.

“Do you want an edit button?” Musk asked in the tweet late Monday.

At the time of writing, the poll had received 2,333,856 votes, with some 73.6% voting “yse” and 26.4% voting “on.”

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal retweeted Musk and urged people to “vote carefully” as the consequences “will be important.”

On April 1, or April Fools’ Day, Twitter tweeted a message through its official account saying that it was working on an “edit” button. When the company was asked if it was a joke, it said: “We cannot confirm or deny but we may edit our statement later.”

While an edit button would allow Twitter users to fix grammatical errors, there are concerns that it would also enable them to edit the meaning of a tweet, which could be problematic if that tweet had gone viral and had millions of impressions.

In response, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth claimed that he and his team solved the issue on Facebook “a long time ago” by including an indicator that it had been edited along with a change log.

Musk’s investment in Twitter comes after he said he was considering building a new social media platform. The Tesla CEO does not like that his tweets are scrutinized by regulators like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk tweeted March 26. “What should be done?”

Musk was subpoenaed by the SEC in November after he asked his Twitter followers if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock — causing shares to fall.

Bilal Hafeez, CEO of financial market research firm Macro Hive, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Europe” Tuesday that Musk has had issues with Twitter for a while, adding that he’s unsatisfied with the firm’s approach to free speech and product development.

“It appears that Elon does care about the direction of Twitter,” Hafeez said. “The question is how active he will be in terms of the future direction of the company.”

Hafeez added that Musk may try to bring in an outsider to run Twitter. Agrawal was formerly CTO before taking up his CEO role.

“More fundamentally, there is an issue of Twitter’s revenue growth model,” Hafeez said. “It does have aggressive targets for its daily active users, yet it’s unlikely to be able to achieve those. Its revenue growth, while it did pick up in the pandemic, wasn’t as large as many other platforms over the same period of time.”

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