Although Twitter has always been the chaotic little sister of social media since Elon Musk took over, it has seemed like nothing but chaos has been going down at the enormous social media company. Elon musk owns and runs both automaker Tesla and aerospace company SpaceX, and now owns Twitter.
The dramatics started when Elon Musk signed a deal to acquire the company back in April. Since then, he tried to take back his acquisition agreement, leading to Twitter eventually suing him. Months of pretrial squabbles happened between Twitter and Elon Musk, and he conceded and closed the deal before a court-ordered deadline and bought out the company for $44 million on October 27th.
Almost as soon as Elon Musk took over at Twitter, he started laying off employees. He ended up laying off more than half the staff and most contractors. The few that remained were given an ultimatum by Musk: either they work under his new intense culture, or they leave. Unfortunately, it appears that most decided to go. Even more, employees were fired just before Thanksgiving to boot.
Since the layoffs, many large brands have pulled out of their advertising on Twitter. Others have reduced their spending on advertising on Twitter to a minimum rather than cutting off entirely and causing a confrontation with Musk. According to the Financial Times’ unnamed source, Musk personally called the CEOs of the major brands that pulled out.
Changes At Twitter
There have been many changes at Twitter since the millionaire took over, such as changing the moderation policies on the platform and unbanning extremist accounts that have been banned throughout Twitter’s history. Additionally, and the one that most people have been talking about, is that he is deciding who is and isn’t going to be verified.
Musk suggested three different colours of signifying verification, gold for companies, grey for governments, and blue for individuals, “celebrity or not”. Musk said a second, smaller logo shows that the individual belongs to an organisation if they are “verified as such by that org,” says Musk.
He also played around with the idea of a paid, $8-per-month Twitter Blue subscription, but that came with all of its issues, blurring the lines between authenticated individuals and paid accounts. It also caused many problems with people impersonating celebrities and corporations, causing mayhem.
Elon Musk also plans to make Twitter into an “everything app”, as he called it, with features like encrypted direct messages, long-form tweets, and payment options. This will turn into something barely resembling the Twitter we know and love.
Now that thousands of its workers have evacuated Twitter, worries have sprung up that there will be outages, massive disruptions, and hacks. However, despite how many people have left, Elon Musk has claimed that engagement is surging on Twitter, with new signups and notable active minutes hitting a record high.
This was all shared as a ploy (or maybe a plea) to get new employees to come in as he tweeted the slides saying, “We’re recruiting” after weeks of him laying off his employees, some of them resigning, and others defecting to other social media companies. So at this point, will people be interested in being recruited by the social media company? Or will Musk’s efforts ultimately lead to the company’s downfall?