It’s been one week since the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, acquired a platform initially created to share ideas and turned it into a pit of hate speech.
The $44 billion USD (roughly $59 billion CAD) acquisition gives Musk complete control over the platform, and that’s not a role he has taken lightly.
In mere days, Musk announced plans that would change the way people use Twitter: charging more for Twitter Blue, making users pay for their verification status, and sharing plans to introduce a paywall video feature.
To recap, here’s what Musk did during his first week as “Chief Twit:”
Fears of job cuts were shared long before Musk took over the company. But the reality of it has only begun to sink in. In an email to employees, the company said they would know their faith in the company on Friday.
It’s not clear how many employees will be cut, but Twitter is full of former employees saying they’ve been let go. A lawsuit surrounding the firings has also been filed. Musk disputed news that 75 percent of the workforce would be let go but didn’t deny layoffs. Various executives were the first to go.
According to The Washington Post, some of the people who were laid off were part of groups Musk put together to work on new products. Musk also brought over employees from Tesla, the Boring Company, and Neuralink to work on Twitter code. Reports indicate 50 of the employees came from Tesla. It’s unclear what this means for Twitter’s workforce and if the employees Musk brought in will take over key roles at Twitter.
Twitter has yet to outline official plans for what the platform will look like under Musk’s reign. But there are a few things to expect, one being the possibility of banned users once again using Twitter. In a tweet earlier this week, Musk shared it’ll be a few weeks before a process to examine the matter is in place. “Twitter will not allow anyone who was de-platformed for violating Twitter rules back on [the] platform until we have a clear process for doing so.”
Musk’s announcement to move verification under the Twitter Blue subscription has (unsurprisingly) led to backlash and phishing scams. The blue checkmark was initially designated for accounts sharing information that was an interest to the public, think journalists, politicians, etc., to verify authenticity. Users often had to apply for the distinction and go through a review process. Now Musk is proposing a method to let people buy the status for $8 a month.
Before Musk took over, the subscription service offered various features that may or may not have been an interest to you. The old subscription costs $4.99 a month in the U.S., but it will now cost $8 a month. The price hike is one of Musk’s attempts to make money on the acquisition and “pay the bills.” As previously reported, some of the company’s bills come from the acquisition. Twitter had to take on $13 billion USD (roughly $17.6 billion CAD) in debt to take the company private, and will reportedly pay over $1 billion USD (roughly $1.4 billion CAD) on annual interest payments.
The latest news on Twitter and Musk can be found here.