Elon Musk’s response to the newest wave of chaos to hit Twitter on Friday was to tweet an image of the corporate’s brand positioned on a tombstone. Former Twitter staff surprise if the corporate’s issues are actually existential.
Since Tesla’s CEO took over final month, the corporate has been hit by huge layoffs, an advertiser boycott, warnings of chapter and now mass layoffs amongst remaining staff.
Unsurprisingly, #RIPTwitter and #TwitterMigration had been among the many trending subjects on Twitter this morning because the confusion continued to escalate.
Right here we reply some questions concerning the scale of the disaster.
What number of staff have left Twitter?
Musk laid off roughly half of his 7,500-strong workforce within the first week of November, inside days of taking up. That left about 3,750 employees. An unspecified variety of staff left in a single day after Musk gave them a 5:00 p.m. ET deadline on Thursday to just accept “lengthy, high-intensity hours” and be “extraordinarily exhausting” or face three months’ severance. Based on one report, 75% of them opted for severance, which would go away fewer than 1,000 staff at Twitter.
The departures affected many departments, together with the press crew, that means questions concerning the scale of the cuts and the affect on the platform now stay unanswered. As an alternative, former staff fill the hole.
Might Twitter crash?
Proof on social media confirmed that Musk’s ultimatum led to quite a few engineers leaving, regardless of Twitter’s new proprietor stressing that the new-look firm can be “rather more engineer-driven” beneath his possession and that “those that are nice they write code, the vast majority of our crew”.
There are actually considerations that the positioning will probably be susceptible to technical glitches and bugs, whereas the complicated system that underpins Twitter seems to be creaking. Two-factor authentication is already affected, and there have been points with retweeting.
Steven Murdoch, a professor of safety engineering at College Faculty London, stated the platform would wrestle to deal with “complicated bugs,” carry out handbook upkeep or fight safety threats. Merely changing departing engineers will probably be troublesome. “Twitter can attempt to rent new employees or transition present employees, however getting the appropriate methods up and operating can take months, even with a clean transition course of. Each main website has developed its personal distinctive system, and anybody coming in from the surface can have a steep studying curve.”
There have been indicators of bother even earlier than Musk arrived. Twitter’s former head of safety, Peiter Zatko, has warned that info safety requirements are poor. He feared that Twitter may endure an “Equifax-level” hack, referring to a 2017 assault on a credit score reporting firm that uncovered the info of 147 million folks in the USA.
Might Twitter go bankrupt?
Musk warned this month that the corporate was going broke, saying it might not survive the approaching recession with out development in subscription income. Promoting accounts for 90% of Twitter’s $5.1bn (£4.3bn) annual income, however that income stream has been hit exhausting by main purchasers together with Basic Motors and the corporate behind cereal manufacturers Cheerios and Fortunate Charms , the suspension of expenditure. Musk confirmed that after the acquisition, promoting income “dropped off large time.”
Monetary woes — Twitter has misplaced cash in 10 of the previous 12 years — are compounded by the troubled relaunch of its subscription service, Twitter Blue, which was placed on maintain after impersonators jumped on the provide to easily “confirm” them by paying. $7.99 per thirty days.
What if advertisers do not come again?
This may be very critical for Twitter. After the takeover, the corporate elevated its stability sheet with practically $13 billion in debt and bears roughly $1 billion in curiosity prices yearly. One measure of an organization’s means to pay these prices is money move. Based on Twitter’s most up-to-date quarterly outcomes as a publicly traded firm, Twitter generated nearly $124 million in adverse free money move (spending additional cash to function the enterprise than it takes in).
Fears about Twitter’s “model security” are already inflicting concern amongst advertisers, in accordance with Farhad Divecha, managing director of UK digital advertising company Accuracast. Now they may fear concerning the high quality of service they may obtain from Twitter employees, he added.
“Disenfranchisement of employees clearly appears to be an issue. And even when Elon did not intend to negatively affect advert companies, as an company managing advertiser budgets, we’re involved concerning the high quality of service we obtain from Twitter’s advert assist and the Twitter account managers who serve our company accounts and purchasers. payments,” he stated.