Twitter is no longer a legal entity. According to a court filing in California, Twitter, at least in name, does not exist; CEO and owner Elon Musk merged it with a shell company called X Corp on March 15 this year.
While the court ruling itself isn’t particularly important to this recent news, its connection warrants brief explanation. It relates to an ongoing legal battle where journalist and conservative activist Laura Loomer is suing Twitter 1.0, former CEO Jack Dorsey, Meta, Zuckerberg, Proctor & Gamble, among others for violating federal racketeering laws when her social accounts were banned in 2019. The noteworthy highlight is that Musk is the owner of the domain for X.com, a payments company he founded and then merged with PayPal. The transformation is being seen as another step towards Musk's ambitions for an "everything app" similar to China's WeChat.
Musk broke the news of Twitter's merger with X Corp. to his 134 million followers via a cryptic tweet that included the letter "X".
X— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 11, 2023
What we know about "X"
"X Corp. is a privately held corporation. Its parent corporation is X Holdings Corp. No publicly traded corporation owns 10% or more of the stock of X Corp. or X Holdings Corp.," the legal document states.
Musk has been vocal about his admiration for WeChat, the Chinese super app that combines messaging, social networking, and payment features. Shortly after his $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform last year, Musk made his intentions clear that the company would pave the way for eventually becoming an all-in-one super app that supports messaging, payments, ridesharing, food delivery, and other services.
X Corp. was set up as a subsidiary of X Holdings Corp., with Musk as its president. At this point, it is unclear if X Corp. will serve as a parent company for Musk's other businesses such as Tesla and SpaceX.
Musk's recent bizarre moves to change Twitter's branding, including replacing the blue bird logo with a Dog meme and removing the letter "w" from the company name outside its San Francisco office, suggest that he is willing to shake up established norms.
Additionally, Twitter's recent decision to remove the verified blue checkmarks from non-Twitter Blue users could have an impact on the platform's user base and reputation.