What are Super Apps? Understand the model in which Elon Musk wants to invest | applications

Twitter can be sold to billionaire Elon Musk, and this week the owner of Tesla showed interest in turning the microblog into a Super app. But what exactly is this type of app? These are platforms that offer multiple features, keeping inside mini-apps with different functions. In general, they offer some kind of services, such as communication and interaction between users (in the case of a social network), e-commerce capabilities, financial services, transportation, delivery, etc. Some of the most popular examples in this segment are WeChat, the Chinese messenger, and Rappi , a delivery app.

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As the actual sale of the social network is still under negotiation, for now it is only speculation how Elon Musk could turn Twitter into a super app. To better understand the paths Tesla’s billionaire could take with microblogging, find out in the following lines how these applications work and what is known about the functions that can be added to Twitter.

WeChat is one of the most famous super applications — Photo: (Photo: TechTudo/Luciana Maline)

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What are Super Apps and what can they be used for?

A super app is an app that can perform several functions that are often unrelated to each other. In this way, the user has a number of different services at his disposal in one place, which can be useful to him every day – such as payment of receipts and online purchases, for example. The idea behind these apps is that users can more easily access multiple resources without downloading more than one app.

One of the most famous examples of Super App is the Chinese application WeChat – which, starting as a WhatsApp-style messenger, was one of the first of this model and has more than a billion users. Today, the then-messaging app is also used for shopping, ordering delivery, sending money, hotel reservations, booking medical appointments, ordering taxis and more.

Superapps combine several functions in one application — Photo: Rômulo Diego Moreira/TechTudo

What are the differences from ordinary applications?

The main difference between Super Apps and regular apps is the amount of services offered on one platform. Apps usually have only one purpose – like Uber, for example, which serves to transport people and/or objects, or like WhatsApp, which, although it has some sales opportunities today, works mainly for communication between users.

So, although Twitter currently only fulfills the role of a social network, if it were to become a Super App, it would have other uses – as is the case with WeChat, for example. These applications are useful because, more than just speeding up the user’s life, they help save phone memory.

Facebook is an example of an application with the potential to become a super application (Photo: Luciana Maline/TechTudo) — Photo: TechTudo

Can any app become a Super App?

In theory, any app can become a Super App, as long as it extends its core functionality. In this sense, they would primarily depend on the developer and the available code development options. In general, communication services, e-commerce and even financial opportunities are the main basis for the emergence of super apps. But in practice it is not so simple.

An example of this difficulty can be seen in Facebook – which, although it offers various functions, such as interacting with users and buying and selling products, is not classified as a Super App. This is because, to have this classification, the app should have other additional features, such as the ability to pay and ship already on the platform itself. The problem is that in order to add these functions to the applications, it is necessary to adapt them to the current legislation and integrate them with third-party services, for example – procedures that can be complex and vary from country to country.

What are Elon Musk’s plans in this regard?

Elon Musk has plans for Twitter related to super apps — Photo: Reproduction/Raisa Capela

According to what is known so far, Elon Musk’s inspiration for Twitter is the Chinese WeChat. The idea, therefore, would be to make the microblog more similar to the messenger of the time, keeping similarities with TikTok, another application of Chinese origin. That’s because, according to Musk, “there is no equivalent to WeChat outside of China.”

There are still few details about it, but it is possible that billionaire Tesla will add functions such as buying and selling products to the social network, as well as other services that are not particularly related to each other. According to what the world media has published so far, Elon Musk’s new social network would be called “X” – but, let’s remind you, there is no release date and no certainty that it will actually be put into circulation.

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