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Elon Musk returns to Twitter job cuts, blue checks in second week

Elon Musk returns to Twitter job cuts, blue checks in second week

(Bloomberg) – Twitter Inc. heads into its second full week under Elon Musk with half its workforce, mounting losses and a few unexpected twists in its plans.

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The social media company laid off nearly 3,700 people on Friday, only to soon find dozens of employees it decided were fired by mistake or were crucial to the changes the billionaire businessman wants to make.

Another of Musk’s key early goals – adding verification checks for members of his monthly subscription service – has been delayed until Wednesday to avoid potential chaos during the US midterm elections.

The bumpy events, as described by people familiar with the situation or in an internal company memo posted on Slack, follow Musk’s own admission in a tweet that the company he and well-heeled partners bought for $44 billion was losing $4 million a day.

Twitter has cut its workforce as a way to cut costs following Musk’s acquisition, which closed in late October. Many employees learned they were out of a job after their access to company-wide systems such as email and Slack was suddenly suspended. The requests for the return of employees show how rushed and chaotic the process was.

A Twitter spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. The platformer previously reported on Twitter’s plan to hire workers.

“As for Twitter power cuts, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4 million a day,” Musk tweeted on Friday.

Some regions were harder hit than others. The company laid off more than 90% of its staff in India over the weekend, severely draining its engineering and manufacturing staff, people familiar with the matter said. The cuts left the company with about a dozen employees in a growing market, they said.

Read more: Twitter lays off more than 90% of its staff in India, leaving only a dozen

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. The Facebook owner’s layoffs, which are expected to affect thousands of workers, could begin as early as Wednesday, the newspaper reported.

Twitter has close to 3,700 remaining employees, according to people familiar with the matter. Musk is pushing those who remain at the company to deliver new features quickly, and in some cases employees have even slept in the office to meet new deadlines.

Twitter said it is rolling out new features to its Twitter Blue subscription plan, offering a verification checkmark for every user who pays a monthly fee. The company also said it will launch other features soon, including half ads, the ability to post longer videos, and priority ranking in replies, mentions and searches.

Twitter will issue new blue verification ticks to users who pay $7.99 a month for the service starting Nov. 9, according to an internal company message posted on Slack. The company previously planned to introduce the subscription feature on November 7, the day before the election.

“Widespread verification will democratize journalism and empower the voice of the people,” Musk said in a tweet.

The company has 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 prominent users changed their names and pictures to match the billionaire. Any name change will cause a temporary loss of the confirmed checkmark.

—With the help of Sankalpa Phartyal.

(Updates with Musk tweet about verification in paragraph 13)

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