Twitter timeline as Elon Musk completes buyout

Elon has already ruffled feathers at Twitter HQ… (Photo: Getty)

The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, has finally completed his much talked about purchase of the social media platform Twitter.

With outlets widely confirming the deal was done, Musk appeared to confirm the news, tweeting “the bird has been released” in an apparent reference to the deal early Friday morning.

He has also changed the bio on his Twitter account to Chief Twit.

Not one to wait before getting down to business, a number of Twitter’s top executives, including boss Parag Agrawal, have already been given the axe.

Mr Agrawal and two other executives were escorted out of Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Thursday evening, Reuters reported.

But as users await the Musk era on Twitter, let’s revisit the history of the popular social media tool.

Who founded Twitter?

Twitter was founded by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams in March 2006 and launched in July of that year.

Twitter came about almost as a happy accident. Apple announced in 2005 that it would add podcasts to its iTunes digital media application, and Odeo, a podcasting enterprise, felt that the company could not compete with Apple and a new direction was needed.

Jack Dorsey was one of the original co-founders of Twitter but stepped down in 2021 (Image: Getty)

Odeo employees were asked about any interesting side projects they had, and engineer Jack Dorsey suggested a short messaging service that one could send to share blog-like updates with friends.

Noah Glass suggested the name Twttr. Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet – “just setting up my twttr” – on March 21, 2006, and the finished version of Twitter debuted in July 2006.

Seeing a future for the product, in October 2006 Williams, Stone and Dorsey bought Odeo and started Obvious Corp. to develop it further.

After being introduced at the South by Southwest music and technology conference in Austin, Texas, in March 2007, the following month Twitter, Inc. was formed as a corporate entity, thanks to an influx of venture capital, and Dorsey became the first Twitter chief chief executive officer (CEO).

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Who Owned Twitter Before Elon Musk?

Twitter, before Musk’s purchase, was mostly owned by large institutional investors.

Vanguard Group became Twitter’s largest shareholder in April 2022 with a 10.3% stake in the company held by a combination of its investment funds, according to

The full list of investors was shared in an April 12 regulatory filing by the company with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

At the time of that filing earlier this year, Musk held 9.2 percent of the company, followed by Morgan Stanley Investment Management with 8.4 percent, BlackRock and StateStreet — investment firms — each had a 4.75 percent stake in the company.

Despite not being the company’s CEO since 2021, Jack Dorsey still owns 2.4% of Twitter.

How much did Elon Musk buy Twitter for?

The Twitter purchase has reportedly cost the Tesla founder a whopping $44bn (£38.1bn).

Early investors in the company will see a nice payday after such a big buyout.

When the deal was first revealed in April 2022, it was estimated that shareholders would receive around $54.20 (approximately £47) in cash for each share.

How does Twitter make money?

OK, so Elon has his own reasons for buying Twitter — including, presumably, lifting Donald Trump’s ban on his efforts to promote free speech.

But a smart businessman wouldn’t spend billions just for that. How will he get his money back? Does Twitter make money?

In short, yes. Makes a pretty penny. In 2021, Investopedia reported that Twitter reported revenues exceeding $5 billion (approximately £4.3 billion).

This money comes from two different streams: advertising and data licensing.

For its 2021 revenue, Twitter generated $4.5 billion (approx. £3.9 billion) of that from advertising and $570 million (approx. £494 million) from data licensing.

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