SUPERAPPS – SE ASIA’S AHEAD OF THE CURVE
The global media is awash this week with coverage of Elon Musk’s vision for Twitter. As well as renaming it “X” and mothballing the famous birdie logo, his new CEO, Linda Yaccarino tweeted: “X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.”
Sounds good, once you sort out the word salad – but let’s face it, Musk, Yaccarino and Twitter are just playing catch-up. The template for X is the multi-national, technology-based, comprehensive digital service platforms that emerged in Asia more than a decade ago. China’s WeChat came first in 2011 and – to steal an awesome tag line from American Express- nobody leaves home without it, despite it being hard to sign up, and with questionable user security.