Twitter Inc. enters its second full week of work under Elon Musk with half its workforce, mounting losses and some unexpected reversals in its plans. The social media company laid off nearly 3,700 employees on Friday, only to catch dozens of employees who were either fired in error or were too essential to the changes the billionaire businessman wanted to make.
Another key early goal of Musk — adding verification ticks for members of his monthly subscription service — is being pushed back to Wednesday to avoid possible chaos during the U.S. midterm elections.
The whiplash events, as described by people familiar with the situation or in an internal company memo posted to Slack, follow Musk’s own confirmation in a tweet that the company he and well-heeled partners for Bought $44 billion, loses $4 million a day.
Twitter cut its workforce to cut costs following its acquisition of Musk, which closed in late October. Many employees found out they lost their jobs after their access to company-wide systems like email and Slack was suddenly suspended. How hectic and chaotic the process was is shown by the employees’ claims for reimbursement.
A Twitter spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Twitter’s plan to rehire employees was previously reported by Platformer.
“Unfortunately, in terms of reducing Twitter’s power, when the company is losing over $4 million a day, there is no other choice,” Musk tweeted on Friday.
Twitter has nearly 3,700 employees left, according to people familiar with the matter. Musk is urging those staying with the company to ship new features quickly, and in some cases employees have even slept in the office to meet new deadlines.
Twitter has announced that it is rolling out new features to its Twitter Blue subscription plan, offering a verification tick to every user who pays the monthly fee. The company also said it will soon be rolling out more features, including half the ads, the ability to post longer videos, and prioritization of replies, mentions, and searches.
According to an internal company message published on Slack, starting November 9, Twitter will start issuing the new blue verification ticks to users paying $7.99 per month for the service. The company previously planned to launch the subscription feature on November 7, the day before the election.
The company received internal and external feedback that the verification process for its Twitter Blue program could be ripe for abuse, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified. This raised concerns that candidates and other political actors could be impersonated on the site in the days leading up to the US election.
Late Sunday, Musk said Twitter would ban accounts impersonating others after several high-profile users changed their names and pictures to match the billionaire. Any name change will result in a temporary loss of a verified tick.