Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter: live updates

Rich Greenfield – a partner and analyst at LightShed Partners, a technology, media and telecommunications research firm – said he was skeptical of the seriousness of Elon Musk’s offer for the rest of Twitter, noting the billionaire’s recent series of tweets including suggestions, criticisms and apparent jokes about the business.

“Part of it makes you think it’s all a joke and he’s just having fun,” Mr Greenfield said.

Mr. Greenfield said some of the plans Mr. Musk has expressed for Twitter are not business-friendly, including the removal of advertising.

“Who’s going to line up the funding as you take away Twitter’s revenue stream?” said Mr. Greenfield. “It’s just not clear how the math works.”

The analyst said Mr Musk could also try to take over Twitter to assert free speech on the platform. But Mr Greenfield said if Mr Musk removed moderation barriers from the site it would be “a big problem”.

“It seems like it’s going in the wrong direction,” he said, adding that the lack of moderation has gotten social media companies into hot water in recent years.

Mr Greenfield said he thought Twitter was worth more than Mr Musk was offering, pointing out the stock was worth around $71 a year ago.

“There’s definitely huge potential in Twitter,” he said. “The size of the user base has increased significantly.”

Mr Greenfield said he doubted Mr Musk’s offer, which the billionaire said would be his last, was enough. Still, it could be a red flag for company management, he said.

“Putting that kind of pressure on management could very well lead to better execution, faster execution on Twitter, regardless of what’s going on with Musk,” he said.

Lance B. Holton