Elon Musk has said that businesses and governments may be charged to use Twitter as part of an overhaul of the social media platform.

The Tesla CEO, the world’s richest person, recently agreed a $44 billion takeover and has plans to make changes to how it operates. 

Twitter has rarely turned a profit. On the back of $5bn revenue in 2021, it made a loss of $221 million – figures which pale into comparison with rival Facebook’s $117bn revenue and $39bn profit.

“Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users,” Musk tweeted. He added in a further tweet: “Some revenue is better than none!”

The deal – expected to close this year – is being funded by a reported $21bn of his own equity with the remainder provided through financing from Morgan Stanley and other institutions.

MPs have invited Musk, who also owns SpaceX, to discuss his proposals for the platform “in more depth” before a parliamentary committee.

Musk, thought to be worth $273.6bn, has 91 million followers on Twitter, up 8m in the last week following the takeover announcement.

He has often been embroiled in controversy over his posts, such as when he labelled British caver Vernon Unsworth a ‘pedo guy’ during the rescue of trapped Thai schoolboys. He ultimately won the defamation case brought by Unsworth.

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The magnate has also called for the eradication of fake accounts, authentication processes for human users, making algorithms open source to increase trust and an edit button for tweets.

On Tuesday a trial of new feature Twitter Circle – enabling users to share tweets with a smaller crowd of up to 150 selected users – was launched.