Elon Musk told a Morgan Stanley conference last month he wants Twitter to become “the biggest financial institution in the world.”
Budrul Chukrut | Sopa Images | Lightrocket via Getty Images
Twitter will let its users access stocks, cryptocurrencies and other financial assets through a partnership with eToro, a social trading company.
Starting Thursday, a new feature will be rolled out on the Twitter app. It will allow users to view market charts; buy and sell stocks and other assets from eToro; and view market data on more financial instruments, the company told CNBC exclusively.
Currently, it’s already possible to view real-time trading data from TradingView on index funds like the S&P 500 and shares of some companies such as Tesla. That can be done using Twitter’s “cashtags” feature — you search for a ticker symbol and insert dollar sign in front of it, after which the app will show you price information from TradingView using an API (application programming interface).
With the eToro partnership, Twitter cashtags will be expanded to cover far more instruments and asset classes, an eToro spokesperson told CNBC.
You’ll also be able to click a button that says “view on eToro,” which takes you through to eToro’s site, and then buy and sell assets on its platform. EToro uses TradingView as its market data partner.
“As we’ve grown over the past three years immensely, we’ve seen more and more of our users interact on Twitter [and] educate themselves about the markets,” Yoni Assia, eToro’s CEO, told CNBC in an interview.
“There is very high quality content, real-time content on financial analysis of companies and what’s happening around the world. We believe this partnership will enable us to reach those new audiences [and] connect better the brands of Twitter and eToro.”
The partnership marks a rare and noteworthy business deal for Twitter since Elon Musk took the reins as CEO after buying the platform for $44 billion last year.
Founded in Israel in 2007, eToro is an online brokerage that lets users buy and sell stocks, cryptocurrencies and index funds.
Among its most popular features is a function that allows people to mimic the trading strategies of other users. The company has more than 32 million registered users across Europe, Asia and the United States, Assia said.
Under Musk’s time as CEO, Twitter has cut staffing sharply, taking its headcount down from 8,000 to 1,500 when he took over, in a bid to reduce costs and reach profitability.
His actions have spooked advertisers, with many brands leaving the platform in light of concerns that its content moderation standards would slip.
On Wednesday, Musk said that “almost all” advertisers had returned to the app. However, Stellantis and Volkswagen, which paused advertising there, said they do not yet plan to resume advertising.
Assia said he worked with the same team at Twitter on the stock market data tool that he had worked with on previous partnerships with the company.
Assia didn’t have any contact with Musk directly, he said. However, he joked that after having met Warren Buffett and Bernard Arnault, who are among the world’s richest men, a meeting with Musk was inevitable.
“We are very excited about the intersection of finance and social media,” Assia told CNBC in an exclusive interview this week.
Assia said that “Fintwit,” or financial twitter, has become a popular trend on the app, which many people use to find breaking news and updates on stocks and other assets. Twitter was a key platform involved in the boom in retail trading in 2021.
Twitter added pricing data for $Cashtags in December 2022. Since the start of 2023, there have been more than 420 million searches for Cashtags, with the number of searches averaging about 4.7 million a day.
Musk has made it his mission to turn Twitter into a so-called “super app.” Such apps tend to offer users a range of services such as instant messaging, banking and travel.
The concept has proven wildly popular in East Asia. In China, internet giant Tencent offers payments through its WeChat messaging app.
Earlier this week, Musk changed the corporate name of Twitter to X Corp after merging with a shell company with that name, according to a court filing, highlighting his ambition to turn the firm into a super app.
Weeks before he completed his acquisition of Twitter, which followed multiple attempts to back out of the deal, Musk tweeted that buying the company was an “accelerant to creating X, the everything app.”
“We’re following that story probably like the rest of Twitter users,” Assia told CNBC. “So it will be exciting to see how Twitter focuses more on finance, and we hope to see our partnership expand even beyond this step.”
Musk told a Morgan Stanley conference last month he wants Twitter to become “the biggest financial institution in the world.”
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