We are living in the digital era where the flow of information is very fast, regardless of geographical location. You can spread any news in all parts of the world without any barriers, and this has been only possible due to the prevalence of social media worldwide.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., are popular social media sites with users billions who surf several hours of the day and consume information on these platforms. Facebook alone has over 2.95 billion active users per month. At the same time, Twitter has over 450 million monthly active users, as per the stats of 2022.
Twitter has been in the news a lot due to the company’s recent purchase by the Tesla man, Elon Musk. People wonder if Elon Musk is the company’s sole owner and how the purchase worked. Therefore, we have gathered all the information to answer who owns Twitter. Besides, you will discover everything you need to know about the shareholders and ownership model for Twitter Corporation.
So let’s get into it.
What Is Twitter?
Twitter is a popular social media website which identifies itself as a platform for friends, family, and coworkers to connect, communicate, and stay in touch through tweets, messages, etc. Twitter users can post their thoughts, pictures, videos, links, etc., via Tweets.
Twitter is a free social networking website and can be accessed via a web browser or app for different operating systems. Twitter is the website that Twitter Corporation owns and is leveraged by individuals, businesses, and marketers alike.
Twitter is the social networking site that is the best medium to spread the news or share information quickly. For perspective, Twitter was the word that the website founders came across and chose due to its meanings. It means ‘short bust of inconsequential information’ and matches Twitter’s description.
How Does Twitter Work?
Before we move on to answer the question about Twitter’s ownership, we must have a brief overview of how the social media website works.
As already mentioned, the founders chose the name Twitter due to the meaning of the word. They wanted to create a social media website where people could express their thoughts or send quick messages to their friends and family. It’s one of the reasons why there is a limit on the words you can write per post on Twitter.
Tweets are the posts that users make on Twitter. You can use text, images, or videos for the purpose of Tweets. Besides, hashtags are the most popular thing on Twitter, which helps you rank your tweets against any popular trend.
Twitter has over 200 million monthly monetizable users, including famous celebrities, news channels, media houses, governments, organizations, businesses, etc. There are a few things you can do on Twitter which are as follows:
Create your account on Twitter and start expressing your thoughts or sharing important happenings in your life. You can use text to post Tweets, and each tweet can contain a maximum of 280 words. Besides, you can also embed video links, upload images/videos, or use GIFs to relate with your text caption. People will engage with you on your Tweets by commenting, liking or sharing.
Following Content Creators and Read Popular Content
The most common use of Twitter by individuals, PR teams, marketers and users has been getting access to or spreading news or information. Therefore, an important feature of Twitter is Moments. You can access the popular content in different niches ranging from News, Entertainment, Sports, etc., in the Moments Section on Twitter.
Engage With People On Their Tweets
Since Twitter is a social networking site, the primary objective is to allow people to connect with each other. As the users post Tweets, you can engage with them on their tweets. There is the option of liking, commenting and sharing the Tweet you think relates to you. If you feel the post is relatable and want to share it on your Twitter, you can Retweet the tweet. The retweet feature works like Repost on Instagram or Sharing on your Feed on Facebook.
Follow The Trending Topics
If you want to know the trending topics in different niches in your region or any other part of the world, you can head to Explore Tab in the Twitter app or web version. You can choose any trend and check the latest tweets or most popular tweets posted by the users.
History Of Twitter
Let’s begin from the beginning of Twitter ownership and dive into the history of the social media website. We will briefly overview the main events in the history of Twitter and create a timeline for your convenience.
2006 –The employers of a podcasting company Odeo struck the idea of Twitter during a daylong brainstorming session. Jack Dorsey was behind the idea as she had the ideology of creating a SMS service for individuals so that they can communicate with small groups.
The initial name Twttr was given to this project, and Flickr inspired it. Yet another reason for using this name was because Twitter.com domain was unavailable for purchase. After six months of launching the project, the domain Twitter.com was purchased, and the name of the project was changed to Twitter.
Dorsey published the first message at 12:50 PST(UTC –8:00) on March 21, 2006.
The full version of the website was made available to the public on July 15, 2006.
The company Obvious Corporation was formed by Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey and other members in October 2006. They acquired Odeo, and the corporation collectively owned Odeo.com and Twitter.com
2007 – Twitter started gaining popularity during the South by Southwest Interactive(SXSWi) conference. It was a tipping point for the website as the number of daily tweets increased from 20,000 to 60,000.
2009 – The website became the third-highest-ranking social networking site by January 2009.
The social networking site received the Breakout of the Year Webby Award in 2009.
Besides, the Global Language Monitor declared Twitter as the Word of the Yearon November 29, 2009.
2010 –By Feb, the number of tweets per day was increased to 50 million.
In March, the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications.
In June, the number of tweets per second increased to 750, and the daily tweets reached 65 million.
New Twitter was launched in October, an entirely revamped version of www.twitter.com.
2011 –The networking site reached 140 million tweets per day by March 2011.
New Twitter Experience launched in November 2010 and completely phased our Old Twitter on April 5, 2011.
2012 – An important partnership between Twitter and Yandex(a Russian search engine) was anounced on Feb 12, 2012.
The logo was modified to showcase the slightly redesigned bird as the sole symbol of the website. The website had over 200 million monthly users by December 2012.
2013 –In January, Twitter acquired Crashlytics to launch the mobile developer apps.
Twitter Music for iPhone was launched in April 2013.
Twitter acquired Trendrr and MoPub in August and September, respectively.
The uprising trend of Twitter continued during the six years period. However, the major events include a redesign of the site to resemble Facebook in April 2014. Besides, the desktop homepage of Twitter was changed in April 2015. In April 2018, the first commercial tweet was sent from space by a private company Solstar.
In 2019, yet another redesign of Twitter UI happened, and the support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 was discontinued.
2020 was the year when the pandemic hit the world, and the platform witnessed notable growth during that period. And it also exposed the platform to misinformation and misleading facts. Even the people like Donald Trump were found posting misleading tweets.
2021 – An indefinite ban on Twitter in Nigeria was imposed in June 2021 due to misinformation and fake news spread through the platform.
2022 –Twitter partnered with Shopify to launch a sales channel app for U.S. Shopify merchants.
The Information Security Head of Twitter, Pieter Zatrko, was fired in January 2022. He later approached U.S. Congress with a complaint alleging that Twitter failed to disclose data breaches, violations of U.S. securities regulations, negligence in security measures, and many more security concerns about data security.
Yet another thing during early 2022 happened: Elon Musk, owner of Tesla and SpaceX, was raising concerns about the freedom of speech on the platform. He tried to get on one of the Board of Directors of Twitter, Inc positions. However, he couldn’t get sufficient shares due to the Board’s resistance.
In April 2022, Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter for $43 billion. Finally, he managed to complete the acquisition for $44 billion on October 27, 2022.
In the first week of the acquisition, he fired the company’s top three executives and laid off another 7500 employees equivalent to half of the company.
Elon Musk made blue tick verification available for all users for a monthly price of $8.
The consequence of Musk’s takeover was that several companies paused running their ads on Twitter.
2023 – Elon Musk announced that legacy verification badges will be removed, and the only way to sustain blue badges is to pay a monthly price.
Afterward, the bird logo was replaced with the Doge meme on April 3, and the original logo was restored on April 7.
In June, Elon Musk stepped down as CEO of Twitter, and Linda Yaccarino was hired for the role. She is currently working as the CEO of Twitter.
Who Own Twitter?
Twitter is just a social media website that was originally the service of Twitter, Inc. However, it’s currently owned and operated by X Corp. Technically, not a single individual owns Twitter. Instead, the company is owned by several shareholders. The company’s owners can be individuals or corporations owning the company’s shares. X Holdings I, Inc. owns the social media website, and all current shareholders of the corporation can have shares in Twitter Inc., but they don’t own the company directly.
Shareholders of Twitter
We have gathered information about the major shareholders in ownership of Twitter Inc., and here is the list of major shareholders:
The individual shareholders of Twitter are as follows:
1). Elon Musk
Elon Musk has the most shares of the company after he acquired the company for $44 billion. The current percentage of ownership under Elon Musk’s name is 78.7 ~ 79%. It also entitles him to voting power up to 79%. Therefore, the major policy changes and decisions are made by Elon Musk.
Elon Musk finalized the deal with Twitter in October 2022 with a net financing of $46.5 billion.
2). Alwaleed Bin Talal
Al Waleed Bin Talal Al Saud, a Saudi prince, is also an individual shareholder of Twitter who currently owns 5.7% equity shares, entitling him to a voting power of approximately 6%. He invested in Twitter in 2011 through his company King Holding.
3). Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison is the third-largest individual shareholder of Twitter, holding 3% shares in the equity of the company. Larry Ellison is the founder of Oracle and has also served on the Board of Directors of Tesla until 2022.
4). Jack Dorsey
The co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, also holds 2.9% shares in equity for the company. Jack Dorsey rolled over his 18 million shares in the old Twitter company to X Holdings I, Inc., the company that acquired Twitter in 2022. Jack Dorsey also served as the CEO of the company until November 2021.
If we move on to the corporations and other companies investing in Twitter and owning 1% or more of the company, the following three names are notable:
1). VY Capital
VY Capital owns 2.1% equity shares in Twitter with an investment of $0.7 bn at the time when Twitter became private in 2022. It’s a Dubai-based private investment founded by Alexander Tamas and Mateusz Szeszkowski in 2013.
2). Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital owns 2.4% equity shares in Twitter with an investment of $0.8 bn at the time when Twitter became private in 2022. The renowned venture capital firm was founded by Don Valentine in 1972 and has shares in several big companies like Airbnb, Google, Apple, Instagram, etc.
Binance has invested $0.5 bn in Twitter.
1). Who is the CEO Of Twitter?
Linda Yaccarino is the current CEO of Twitter, who took charge in June 2023 after Elon Musk stepped down from the CEO position.
2). Who owned Twitter before Elon Musk?
Before Elon Musk acquired Twitter, the major owners of Twitter were Morgan Stanley Investment Management(8.4%), Vanguard Group(10.3%), Jack Dorsey(2.4%), and other owners included CEO Parag Agrawal, Finance Chief Ned Segal, and Head of Legal Policy, Trust and Safety Vijaya Gadde,
3). Is Elon Musk the sole owner of Twitter?
No, Elon Musk’s X Holdings I, Inc., is the major shareholder of Twitter, with almost 79% equity holdings. But Elon Musk is not the sole owner of Twitter.