The long-awaited conclusion to the Musk-Twitter acquisition occurred 2 weeks ago after the Tesla CEO took control of the company. He began his ownership of the social media company by walking into the head offices carrying a sink, accompanied by a tweet saying “Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in!”
Unfortunately for Musk, in his first two weeks, everything seems to be going wrong. Massive layoffs and subsequent drastic rehiring of vital employees, as well as problems with recently implemented rule changes regarding permitted accounts and impersonations, mean Twitter is reportedly losing $4m a day. More changes likely face the tech entrepreneur and the social media company in the future. More in these articles from Bloomberg – Ross Sinclair
Elon Musk walks back on Twitter job cuts, blue checks in second week
By Kurt Wagner and Ed Ludlow
(Bloomberg) – Twitter Inc. is heading into its second full workweek under Elon Musk with half its workforce, mounting losses and a couple of unexpected reversals to its plans.
The social-media company laid off close to 3,700 people on Friday, only to reach out soon thereafter to dozens of employees who it decided were either fired in error or too essential to the changes the billionaire businessman wants to make.
Another of Musk’s key early goals — adding verification check marks for members of its monthly subscription service — is being delayed until Wednesday to avoid potential chaos during the US midterm elections.
The whiplash events, as described by people familiar with the situation or in an internal company memo posted on Slack, follow Musk’s own acknowledgment in a tweet that the company he and well-heeled partners bought for $44 billion is losing $4 million a day.
Twitter lopped its workforce as a way to trim costs following Musk’s acquisition, which closed in late October. Many employees learned they lost their job after their access to companywide systems, like email and Slack, were suddenly suspended. The requests for employees to return demonstrate how rushed and chaotic the process was.
A Twitter spokesperson didn’t reply to a request for comment. Twitter’s plan to hire back workers was previously reported by Platformer.
“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day,” Musk tweeted on Friday.
Some regions were hit harder than others. The company fired more than 90% of its staff in India over the weekend, severely depleting its engineering and product staff, people familiar with the matter said. The cuts left the company with about a dozen staff in the growth market, they said.
Meta Platforms Inc., which is also struggling to contain costs after investing heavily in its metaverse project, may announce significant job cuts this week, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the plans. Layoffs at the Facebook owner, which are expected to affect thousands of workers, could begin as soon as Wednesday, the newspaper reported.
Twitter has close to 3,700 employees remaining, according to people familiar with the matter. Musk is pushing those who remain at the company to move quickly in shipping new features, and in some cases, employees have even slept at the office to meet new deadlines.
Musk says Twitter to ban impersonation if not labeled parody
By Natalie Choy
(Bloomberg) – After a weekend where several high-profile users changed their names and pictures to match Elon Musk’s, Twitter’s new owner says the social media platform will crack down on the practice.
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying parody will be permanently suspended without warning,” Musk wrote in a Twitter post.
“Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning,” he said. This will be “clearly identified” as a condition for signing up to the company’s paid subscription service Twitter Blue, Musk said. He added that any name change at all will cause temporary loss of a verified check mark.
Several users who had impersonated Musk’s Twitter handle, including comedian Kathy Griffin and former NFL player Chris Kluwe, have since had their accounts suspended. Musk later tweeted that Griffin can have her account back for $8, which is the monthly cost of a Twitter Blue subscription.