If you thought the tech industry’s absurdity reached its peak when people spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on pictures of cartoon apes, think again.
Meta (META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the head of the world’s largest social network, and Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, who heads Twitter and SpaceX, will physically fight each other. Yes, two grown men, each worth billions, neither a professional fighter, say they are going to try to beat each other up, according to posts on their respective social media platforms.
A Meta spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of Zuckerberg’s Instagram post.
“The story speaks for itself,” the company representative said.
Why on Earth are the CEOs of two of the most successful companies in their fields willing to grapple each other in, as Musk proposed, a Las Vegas octagon? It all comes down to Zuckerberg’s Meta building a competitor to Musk’s Twitter.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Meta’s app is codenamed Project 92 and will function similarly to Twitter. Musk famously purchased Twitter for $44 billion following an acrimonious legal back-and-forth with the company’s former leadership. Since taking over, though, advertisers have fled the platform fearing the kind of content Musk will allow to flourish on the social network.
In March, Musk estimated that Twitter was worth just $20 billion, according to internal emails viewed by The New York Times. In May, Fidelity lowered its estimate of Twitter’s valuation to roughly $15 billion, based on its own stake in the company.
Meta, meanwhile, is looking to capitalize on the drama with its own offering that could overthrow Twitter as the go-to platform for real-time news and updates from everyone from your friends to presidents.
And Meta is ready for a fight. During an all-hands meeting this month, Meta chief product officer Chris Cox showed off its Twitter competitor and said content creators were looking for a “sanely run” platform, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Musk, as is his modus operandi, has been taunting Zuckerberg on social media about the Twitter competitor. Zuckerberg, meanwhile, has been posting plenty of videos and images of his various workouts and Brazilian jiu-jitsu matches.
And so here we are. Two billionaires are going to physically fight each other because one said something means about the other. Of course, it’s difficult to say whether either will actually participate in the match.
Neither would want to face their employees, shareholders, or the general public if they lost in an unnecessary fight. Then again, it might be a fun watch.
Sign me up to ring the bell.
Daniel Howley is the tech editor at Yahoo Finance. He’s been covering the tech industry since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @DanielHowley.
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