Businesses and governments may have to pay to use Twitter, according to Elon Musk

Just weeks after announcing his desire to buy Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Musk has stated that businesses and governments may soon have to pay a 'slight cost' to use the social media network.

In a late Tuesday tweet, the tech tycoon, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, stated that the platform will remain free for "casual users."

It's unclear how much Musk wants to tax businesses and governments, or whether some groups, including as non-profits and journalists, will be excluded.

When reached by CNBC, Twitter declined to comment.

Twitter has consistently underperformed other social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube in terms of revenue.

Musk, who has 90.7 million Twitter followers, recently stated that he wants to "improve Twitter even more by adding new features."

In the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Twitter is already experimenting with a paid-for subscription service called Twitter Blue, which offers additional capabilities.

Users may undo tweets and bookmark tweets with the premium offering, which costs $2.99 per month in the United States. Last month, Musk said he wants to lower the price of Twitter Blue and make improvements to the service, including banning commercials.

Musk has also stated that all Twitter direct conversations should be end-to-end encrypted, ensuring that no one can snoop on or hack a user's communications.

Musk remarked on Monday at the Met Gala that Twitter needs to get rid of the bots, trolls, and frauds that exist on the network.

"We don't want people to be duped out of their money and things like that," he explained.

Are there any plans for an IPO?

Twitter is now traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York, but Musk intends to take the company private.

According to a story in The Wall Street Journal Monday citing people familiar with the situation, Musk has informed investors that he may choose to return Twitter to the public stock market in as little as three years.

If the deal goes through and Musk buys Twitter, the firm will be run by the world's richest man and someone who has been a vocal critic of the network while also using it in legally questionable ways, most notably through sensitive remarks about Tesla.

Though Musk has stated that his primary concern with Twitter is the company's censorship of free speech, critics fear that the billionaire's control of the platform will result in the silencing of their voices and those with whom he may disagree, given that he has frequently blocked critics from his personal account.

Musk discussed how he wants to see the platform change under his ownership at the TED2022 conference in Vancouver last month.

"I think it's extremely necessary for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech," he said at the time, admitting that some content control would be required to deal with explicit incitement to violence and ensuring the site adhered with local laws.

He also stated that he prefers "time-outs" to permanent bans, implying that former President Donald Trump may return to the platform under Musk's management. Following his remarks surrounding the Jan. 6 insurgency at the US Capitol, Twitter banned Trump from the platform, claiming "the potential of additional provocation of violence."

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