Less than two weeks after taking over, the era of Elon Musk at the helm of Twitter has been chaos with mass layoffs, office closures, changes in the account verification policy, the abandonment of more than 1.3 million users, and the decision of brands such as Audi, Pfizer, GM, United Airlines and General Mills, among others, to temporarily suspend the purchase of ads on that social network, until it is clear about the content and verification policy Musk will apply.
“The restructuring of Twitter has generated a lot of uncertainty in the social network because Elon Musk came to make many changes in the company that do not make customers or users happy, even many brands have temporarily abandoned the platform until the situation of the company stabilizes”, said Gonzalo Rojon, director of The CIU.
Elon Musk, in his first speech to Twitter employees since acquiring the company, said bankruptcy is a possibility, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Yoel Roth and Robin Wheeler, two executives who until today were listed as part of Elon Musk’s new leadership team, have resigned, according to another person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified, according to Bloomberg.
Bot Sentinel, a portal designed to combat disinformation and eliminate bots and spam, estimated that more than 1.3 million Twitter users have deactivated their accounts in recent weeks.
Elon Musk acknowledged that advertisers’ fears about content moderation on Twitter caused a “massive drop in revenue” on the platform despite no changes being made.
The comments come after brands including Audi, Pfizer, and General Mills, among others, said they planned to temporarily pause spending on the platform while waiting to see how it evolves under the tycoon’s leadership.
“If this uncertainty and these radical changes continue, it seems to me that Twitter could lose market share, which will surely bring economic losses for the company, which, in itself, had been recording losses for years and now, with Musk’s decisions, could be further aggravated, “Rojon warned.
The millionaire, who has branded himself a champion of free speech, has said he wants to change the way controversial content is treated while assuring advertisers he doesn’t want it to become a ” Hell free for all, where anything can be said without consequence.”
Gonzalo Rojon pointed out that there is a fear that the network could radicalize “and the most worrying thing is that Elon Musk is disguising this as a supposed freedom of expression, but if something has become clear to us, it is that social networks have interfered in electoral processes and have caused many problems, as we could see with fake news during the pandemic.”
On Wednesday night, Twitter’s new owner sent an email to his workers to prepare them for “tough times ahead” and ban remote work unless he personally approves.
Twitter has been under Musk’s leadership for almost two weeks, since the October 27 purchase, during which time he has laid off about half of its workforce and most of its top executives.
The new boss raised the price of the Twitter Blue subscription to $8 and added user verification. Musk told his employees in the email that he wants subscriptions to account for half of Twitter’s revenue.
Remote work for his workers was one of the first topics in a general call Musk held with Twitter staff after announcing the deal to buy the company earlier in the year. He then said that he is against remote work and would only grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Lou Paskalis, a veteran marketing and media executive and former Bank of America global media chief, said Musk seems uninterested in tempering his personality on Twitter, as his post before the US election showed in which he advised Americans to vote Republican.
“Going out as Elon did… and saying ‘vote Republican since there’s a Democrat in the White House’ I don’t know what advertiser wants to get close to that,” the expert said. One solution could be to hire a CEO to run the company while Musk is still their “Boss Dumb,” Paskalis said.
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