What do we know about X, this “application that does everything” that Elon Musk wants to launch? – Ouest-France evening edition

By Nicolas HASSON-FAURE

American billionaire Elon Musk spoke of an “application that does everything” project, Wednesday, October 5, 2022. His name: X. The social network Twitter, which he seems to be about to buy, could “accelerate” its creation , he said. But what could this app look like?

“Buying Twitter will accelerate the creation of X, the app that does it all. » This cryptic message was published by American billionaire Elon Musk on Wednesday October 5, 2022 on the social network he mentions. It is customary to make statements of the kind, the meaning of which may seem ambiguous at first sight. Here, the businessman talks about the takeover of Twitter, an operation he launched several months ago, before changing his mind, and which is now the subject of a trial in Delaware, in the United States. United. An endless series since Elon Musk seems, today, to want to buy the platform… Which could therefore serve him, in one way or another, to create his X application. Here is what it could look like.

The application that allows you to discuss and initiate divorce proceedings

This is not the first time that the richest man in the world has mentioned this project. Last June, he spoke highly of the Chinese application WeChat in front of Twitter employees. “WeChat is great, but there is no equivalent outside of China. There is a real opportunity to create that.” in the rest of the world, he had said then.

WeChat is this application with which it is possible to do everything (or almost): chat, order a taxi, request a financial loan, pay bills, make an appointment with a doctor, pay in stores thanks to a QR Code system, and even initiate divorce proceedings!

It has over 1.2 billion monthly active users and it is now “nearly impossible to do anything without access to WeChat, in China”, according to the American media Business Insider . And Elon Musk would therefore like his X application to look like this program.

“Super apps” well present in Asia

WeChat is what is called a “super app”. And she’s not the only one out there. In Singapore, the (sort of) local equivalent is called Grab. In Japan, LINE. This last application allows, in the archipelago, to chat, read news, make an appointment with a doctor by videoconference, pay, listen to music…

In Singapore, Grab lets you order a taxi or food delivery, pay bills, book vacations, send parcels, make online purchases; by paying directly from the application, which also allows you to pay for purchases in stores, says Tessa Wong, journalist for the BBC, the British radio and television station, precisely based in the city-state.

These “great apps” “do not yet exist in the West […] but in many parts of Asia, they have been a central part of our daily lives for some years,” she said again. In addition to Line and Grab, there is, for example, GoJek in Indonesia or Paytm in India.

A complicated task

What might X look like? And what role would Twitter play in it? Elon Musk does not say it, contenting himself with other messages once again sibylline. “Twitter is probably accelerating the creation of X by three to five years, but I could be wrong”, for example does he have writing. Still, his task will be complicated, according to specialists interviewed by the American television channel CNN.

Today, almost ” everybody “ on the market “also trying to become a great app”, said Ivan Lam, an analyst at Hong Kong-based firm Counterpoint Research. He mentions platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok which are trying, to a certain extent, to also transform themselves into an “all-in-one” application.

Another element, competitors are already on certain markets. If X were to launch and wanted to offer its own payment system, for example, it would face alternatives launched by already well-established digital giants: Apple Pay, Google Pay… Users would also have to be convinced to install the application. , and deal with antitrust laws, that is to say aimed at fighting against monopolies, in force in the United States or Europe, in particular.

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