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Twitter’s trust issues complicate its super app ambitions

The news: Twitter’s financial services have inched ahead through a new partnership with eToro, which is both a trading platform and a social media platform focused on investing.

The new feature piggybacks on existing technology: eToro connects via APIs with other social networks, including Twitter, to let users share their trading decisions and charts.

More on this: Twitter’s trust problem will interfere with Elon Musk’s plans. With a decline in privacy and safety weighing down social media brands overall, Twitter ranked eighth out of nine social media platforms in our most recent Digital Trust Benchmark.

The rationale: Coming just four months after Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, the partnership with eToro augments Twitter’s ability to share information and discussions about investing—contributing to the purported goal of making Twitter a hub for information and engagement.

Today: The “social investing” pioneer eToro in many ways looks like a mashup of Twitter and Robinhood: The app and site have a social media feed and give users the ability to follow certain assets, interact with members, and automatically replicate the crypto portfolios of members who are akin to influencers.

eToro said Thursday that the partnership would “enable Twitter users to see real-time prices” for a range of stocks, crypto, and other assets via Twitter’s cashtags feature. It will also funnel users to eToro to make trades.

Tomorrow: Social investing points to a plausible future for Twitter: A way to weave together social media and financial transactions, with some features akin to the super app WeChat. But given its challenges with consumer trust, Twitter is a poor launchpad for financial services.

  • Twitter’s audience of 55.1 million US users in 2023, according to our forecast, has started sliding down.
  • Twitter’s user count this year will be two-thirds that of Venmo alone, not to mention Cash App, among other platforms with super app potential.

The big takeaway: In its current form, dogged by low trust and a stale platform, Twitter, or X, isn’t capable of realizing its potential as a super app for social media, messaging, shopping, payments, or investing as we know them.

Elon Musk might have something else up his sleeve, but Twitter is competing in a mature market. Superficial partnerships won’t transform the platform. However, it’s clearly laying the groundwork for something bigger. Perhaps generative AI will be the catalyst for an X nobody expects.

Read more about trust in social media platforms in the Digital Trust Benchmark 2022.