Elon Musk met with Twitter employees virtually in a closed meeting to answer questions and discuss fees, platform changes, work-from-home and layoffs.
Elon Musk spoke with Twitter employees on Thursday and detailed some of the changes he would make. It’s been a never-ending saga since Musk bid to buy Twitter on April 14. First, it appeared he didn’t even have enough assets to buy the social media company. Then he figured out funding and Twitter accepted his bid on April 25. There was also a clause written into the deal that Musk wasn’t allowed to tweet anything negative about Twitter while the deal was pending, which he, of course, broke. He also broke a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with them.
The saga continued when Twitter released its bot data, which Musk refuted and did his own calculations. He then asked Twitter for its data, but the company was silent for a while before agreeing to release it to him. Through all this, it’s been unclear if Musk would go through with the deal. If he does back out, though, he will have to pay $1 billion to Twitter. He claimed that Twitter broke the agreement when it refused to give him the data about the bots. If that were considered breaking the deal, Twitter would have had to pay $1 billion to Musk to back out. The agreement is on pause at the moment, but it appears that Musk is making plans for how to run Twitter.
Both Bloomberg and The New York Times gave live updates from sources in the Twitter meeting as the meeting was not open to the public. It appears that Musk tuned into the conference via a cell phone from a hotel room. The Twitter employees asked him various questions but one that was missing was Musk’s commitment to buying Twitter. They were more concerned about the changes that would be made if he went through with the deal. He wants users to pay for verification, which he has mentioned before. He’s doubling down a subscription model by saying he wants Twitter to be “too expensive for a ‘bot army’ to be feasible.” Some users are concerned about what type of content he may allow on the site, which was answered by him saying he wanted people to be able to say “pretty outrageous things.” He also spoke a lot about the Chinese platform WeChat and TikTok in comparison to what he wanted to see on Twitter. He said he wanted “entertaining” and not “boring” content. He also said he didn’t want any boring ads on the site.
Work-From-Home Policy, Layoffs & What It All Means
Musk seemed to have softened his remote working stance by saying that “excellent contributors” could still work from home. Twitter has had an indefinite work-from-home policy since the beginning of the pandemic, and that seemed to be a big issue on the employees’ minds during the meeting. Musk also mentioned layoffs and that they would be based on performance. There would even be a performance-based bar for this. It’s known that he expects a lot from his employees, so one can only assume that this bar will be pretty high.
Musk gave a glimpse of what a Twitter under his authority would look like. Working from home looks to be on the table, but only if they meet his high standard. And keeping their jobs will also be based on that too. As for the platform changes, it feels like Twitter would be a fundamentally different place. Musk clearly wants more engaging content on the site that’s similar to TikTok. He also wants users to pay to use it. While it seemed like causal users would be able to continue using the site for free, his comment about making it too expensive for bots could mean he wants almost all users to pay for it. Currently, Twitter does its best to moderate content with labels, but how the site is moderated will undoubtedly be changed under Musk, seeing as he wants controversial things to be said. Twitter may not look like the platform users know and love it for by the time Elon Musk is done. The company culture will most likely change too.
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