Elon Musk no longer world's richest man after blowing $44 billion buying Twitter

It comes after the value of his shares in his electric car company Tesla took a sharp drop this year.


Elon Musk is no longer the world’s richest man following his purchase of social media platform Twitter.

It comes after the value of his shares in his electric car company Tesla took a sharp drop this year.

Chief executive of luxury items group LVMH, Bernard Arnault, is now the world’s richest man, according to Bloomberg and Forbes.

Musk is the largest shareholder in Tesla, with his stake in the company a reported 14%. He completed his takeover of Twitter in October, having spent a reported $44 billion on the social media network.

Forbes reports Musk is now worth around $178bn, with Mr Arnault a reported $188 bn.

Earlier this month the new Twitter owner was described as a “loose cannon” and “quite strange” by Conservative chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Julian Knight.

Twitter’s subscription service that will allow users to pay to be verified on the platform is relaunching on Monday after a failed rollout last month.

Twitter Blue will give users who sign up a blue tick badge, the ability to edit tweets and a range of other features in exchange for the eight dollar (£6.50) monthly fee.

The service had initially launched last month but was paused after it was flooded with bad actors who paid for verification and then posed as public figures and businesses, often posting potentially offensive and abusive content.

Twitter has said it will allow users to change their account handle and display name under the new system, but they will lose their verified badge until Twitter has reviewed their account again.

A key policy of new Twitter owner Elon Musk, the billionaire says the subscription service is a way of diversifying the company’s revenue stream and making the verification process fairer – with the blue badges having previously been given to accounts Twitter deemed notable.

He has also argued that the system would help combat spam on the platform because verified accounts will have their replies to other posts promoted above other content.

Mr Musk has changed the pricing for Blue ahead of the relaunch, now charging those who subscribe on Apple’s iOS platform 11 dollars a month (£9) as a way of offsetting the commission Apple charges for purchases made through it’s App Store.

In addition, Twitter has confirmed it will begin replacing the grey “official” labels on prominent accounts with a gold tick badge for businesses and a grey tick badge for government accounts.

The ability to sign up to Twitter Blue is expected to begin appearing for users in the UK later on Monday.

The move will be the latest sweeping change made by Mr Musk since he took control of the social media platform in October.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss has already cut the company’s staff by more than half, restored a number of previously suspended accounts – including Donald Trump’s – and has promised to delete accounts that have been inactive for extended periods to free up username space on the site.