Elon Musk is back in the news with another moonshot of an idea. Whenever Musk has an idea, it often has a direct impact on business, individuals, and the planet as a whole. Musk’s new plan: attempt to follow in the strategy similar to the Chinese app WeChat by consolidating social media, blockchain payments, and entertainment into one scalable, constantly evolving “everything app” called “X.”
X has always been a dream project for Musk and if X is the “trillion dollar valuation” he says it is, Stauffer believes this will seismically shift the way businesses and organizations will interact with their audiences.
Let’s go over a few ways X’s proposed updates will affect your communications strategy:
MOVING AWAY FROM ADVERTISING AND EMBRACING A CLEANER UX/UI
By introducing more of a pay-to-play strategy, X can give itself a makeover with a fresh and intuitive user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). The UI will be designed to prioritize user-friendliness, making navigation and content discovery seamless and straightforward.
Through thoughtful design, X looks to create an aesthetically pleasing and immersive experience that encourages users to engage more actively with the platform. While great for end-users, advertising looks to be something stripped away from the platform. This means that businesses and organizations will have to lean into becoming more engaged with their audiences through social media and new media.
Engaging content will become the driving factor with X. Collaborative discussion spaces (think Reddit), interactive content like surveys and quizzes, co-watching (a la Twitch), and VR (remember the Virtual Boy?) all are touted to be the future of X. Enhanced with AI-powered personalization tools, content will be deployed more accurately to audiences and may be more impactful and drive more conversions than traditional online advertising ever was – and more fun to make.
THE INTEGRATION OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY AND REVENUE SHARING FOR PAYMENTS
Musk has always been very vocal about his belief that crypto is the future. He also has already begun a revenue-sharing model with content providers through what was then known as Twitter. As a co-creator of PayPal, Musk has already cashed in on the transactions market and wants to bring a universal payment system to X.
Blockchain or not, introducing a payment system of any kind to a social media platform is huge. Not only can individuals pass money (or coins) back and forth for small payments, but also businesses can sell their products and provide subscription-based content, much in the same vein as Patreon or Substack.
Through a blockchain-based incentive model, businesses, organizations and content creators can earn tokens based on the engagement and value their content brings to the platform, creating another revenue stream and motivation to listen and align with their audience to create the best content they can.
The education industry could be one of the most impacted industries by adding payments to X. Being able to serve online education in the form of traditional collegiate learning or via a la cart classes to a user base of over 200 million daily active users is an entirely new vertical for higher learning institutions perfectly suited for the modern era. Not only can X users go to any college in the world on the platform, but they can also now have their degree and course load permanently affixed to the blockchain, providing a new level of integrity, transparency, and brand recognition to alumni and their alma maters.
X AS A PLATFORM FOR NICHE COMMUNITIES
X’s creation of niche communities will have a significant impact for businesses that want to listen and interact with their customers. Niche communities (not too dissimilar from Reddit) will provide organizations with a platform that provides unique opportunities to engage in a more meaningful way than Twitter’s current microblogging and DM functions.
Businesses can now react and respond to customers needs and feedback and collaborate on optimizing their product or service. It can also give businesses insights into their customers’ preferences, pain points, and interests, enabling them to tailor their offerings more effectively and platform for niche marketing that directly appeals to the community’s tastes.
X’s niche communities will also allow businesses to tap into their most fervent supporters. By encouraging fans to create user-generated content, influencer marketing tactics once reserved for high-dollar agencies can now be done with a smaller team, thus maximizing marketing budgets and further nurturing brand advocates and thought leaders.
USER FEEDBACK AND ITERATIVE DEVELOPMENT
Taking in user concerns and opinions through social media is a throughline through all of Musk’s endeavors; X will be no different. As any of these aforementioned are rolled out, they will be adapted upon, or redacted, as-needed. By evolving with user feedback, X will take an iterative approach to evolving the platform over time that will allow a more dynamic and optimized experience for businesses, content creators, and the general public.
Musk’s bravado about creating a trillion dollar app also needs to come with a bit of editorial hubris injection. His vision for a next-gen social media platform will require a Herculean effort from his development team. Once deployed, it will also need to be adopted by users. Getting liftoff for this project will be no easy feat, but Stauffer will be watching and adapting with however it unfolds.