Twitter is asking some recently fired employees to return to the company. The move was one of the biggest rounds of layoffs in the tech industry this year. Following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition, Twitter went on a firing spree, laying off more than 3700 employees (50% of the workforce) in one day.
Employees learnt they were let go from Twitter via email as a way to cut costs. Many employees learned about their firing when they suddenly lost access to company-wide systems and resources. Twitter expedited the process without much thought to give Twitter a clean slate and start afresh. Now, chaos seems to reign at the Twitter offices as things become hectic due to a shortage of resources.
According to reports, some of the employees were fired by mistake. Some people were let go before the leadership team finalized their plans for the future. Soon enough, the management realized that they would need the expertise and experience of the laid-off employees to implement Elon Musk’s vision for Twitter’s future.
On Friday, Elon Musk took to Twitter to explain his decision to fire people. He wrote, “Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately, there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.”
Elon Musk sure knows how to keep things interesting. The Twitter Takeover is a hot topic, with news breaking out of their offices even faster than it spread on the microblogging platform. It is not the first time that one of Musk’s companies is losing money at this pace. In 2017, Tesla lost almost $6M per day.
Musk is urging the 3700 employees remaining at the company to work faster to implement the new features he wants to roll out in the coming days. In some cases, employees didn’t go home for extended periods and had to sleep in the office to meet the new deadlines.
Last week, Twitter announced its new plan, Twitter Blue subscriptions. People can now pay $8 monthly to receive a verified blue tick on their profile. Additionally, Twitter will launch features such as half the ads, increasing the length of videos and priority ranking in mentions, replies and searches.
In true Musk-like fashion, his initiatives, too, seemed to polarize people and divide the internet. There are critics of the Blue plan who worry about imposters who could spread misinformation if they had a verification check mark. Citing the importance of the authenticity of any information source, people were up in arms about the impact of possible impersonations of politicians, which could sway election results. As of Sunday, the rollout of Twitter Blue has been put on hold and postponed until Tuesday’s US mid-term elections.
Elon Musk has also announced that impersonating accounts will be permanently suspended. The announcement comes in response to a slew of verified users renaming themselves Elon Musk. The new policy will directly ban the impersonating account without warning. Earlier, the policy was to ask for modifications to the profile following the first offence—a temporary suspension on the second offence and, finally, cancelling the account for repeat offenders.
Further, marketers seem to be avoiding Twitter ads. Foreshadowing a drop in revenue from advertising, Musk is planning to charge users who want to DM celebrities on the platform. He has also fired the entire Ethical AI team at Twitter. This team, called ML Ethics, Transparency and Accountability or the META team, was one of the best examples of a tech company making efforts to make its algorithm more fair and transparent. They were progressive and interacted with the community about burning issues around AI ethics.
The situation at Twitter is evolving every minute. News is coming out of the Twitter headquarters like kernels of popcorn bursting in a hot pan. So much has happened over the weekend, and so much more is yet to come.
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Kamal Rastogi is a serial IT entrepreneur with 25 yrs plus experience. Currently his focus area is Data Science business, ERP Consulting, IT Staffing and Experttal.com (Fastest growing US based platform to hire verified / Risk Compliant Expert IT resources from talent rich countries like India, Romania, Philippines etc...directly). His firms service clients like KPMG, Deloitte, EnY, Samsung, Wipro, NCR Corporation etc in India and USA.