Elon Musk is taking inspiration from China’s top social media platform, WeChat, while planning a future for Twitter. And while he has shared very few details of his ambition for an app for everything, experts say it won’t be easy to achieve.
The Tesla (TSLA) CEO said late Tuesday that he wanted to create a new app called “X” after buying Twitter.
“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” he tweeted.
Musk’s comment came on the heels of news that he had once again reversed course and decided to follow through with his bid to buy Twitter for $44 billion, a price originally agreed back in April.
Now, Musk’s intention to build out what’s assumed to be a multipurpose platform has drawn comparisons to “super-apps” in Asia, essentially one-stop shops that do it all for users.
Several tech companies in the region have already succeeded with their own versions of such applications. Chief among them is WeChat, the platform that is owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent (TCEHY) and sometimes described as Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Snapchat (SNAP) and PayPal (PYPL) all rolled into one.
More than a billion users, primarily in mainland China, rely on the social network to do virtually everything — from ordering groceries to booking a yoga class to paying bills — without leaving the app.
Elsewhere in Asia, people have also flocked to apps such as Grab (GRAB) in Singapore and Malaysia, or Line in Japan. Grab was initially best known as a ride-hailing service provider, while Line gained popularity as a messaging app, and both have since branched out significantly to offer other features.