Elon Musk addresses Twitter staff, targets 1 billion users and a "you can not live without" website

Elon Musk addresses Twitter staff, targets 1 billion users and a “you can not live without” website

IN AN UNUSUAL move for what has been an unusual takeover bid on Twitter of the world’s richest man, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk virtually met the social platform’s employees.

“Trust is what trust does. I tend to be extremely literal in what I say … You do not (need) to read between the lines. You can simply read the lines,” Musk said in the meeting, according to a tweet from Nola Weinstein, Twitters global head of brand experiences and engagement.

Weinstein did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and she later deleted all her tweets about the meeting. Twitter declined to comment.

Musk, according to several news reports, also raised possible layoffs in the company and said that right now “the costs exceed the revenues. It is not a good situation”.

He also touched on growth and said he would like to see Twitter reach a billion users – about four times his current user base – and anonymity, where he previously caused a stir when he said he wanted to “verify all people” on the service.

At the meeting, he clarified that this does not mean that he wants everyone on Twitter to use their real names, as on Facebook, because pseudonyms can allow people to express their political views freely, according to to the New York Times.

Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal announced the meeting to employees in an email on Monday and said they could send questions in advance.

The meeting is a “clear step in the right direction towards the chances of a deal happening and a smart strategic move as Twitter employees have been left in the dark in recent months and have many questions during this volatile period of uncertainty,” said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives .

One of Musk’s key points at the meeting was to make Twitter “so compelling that you can not live without it,” Weinstein tweeted.

Musk, who has more than 98 million followers on Twitter and is one of the platform’s most productive users, also said that while some people “use their hair to express themselves, I use Twitter,” according to Weinstein.

Musk, according to several reports, also praised Chinese apps like TikTok, which he said are good at keeping people engaged and not being “boring,” and WeChat, which he said could be a good model for what Twitter can be.

Musk reached an agreement to acquire Twitter in April, but he has repeatedly clashed with the company since then over the number of bots, or fake accounts, that exist on the social media platform.

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Musk said he put the deal on hold on May 13, although it seems unlikely he can do it on his own.

He said he needed more data from the company about these bot accounts, despite Twitter reporting its bot estimates – and its recognition that they may be too low – to investors for several years.

Twitter employees may have other reasons to be nervous about Musk’s impending takeover.

The cursed billionaire has directed a torrent of criticism at the company, from its moderation and security policy, which he calls a threat to “freedom of expression”, to its anonymous user accounts, which he would like to eliminate, to its ban on former president. Donald Trump, whom he has promised to turn around.

Musk has also focused on Twitter’s work-from-home policy, after once demanding that the company’s headquarters be turned into a “homeless shelter” because, he said, so few employees actually worked there.

The comment also served as a thinly veiled shot in San Francisco, which has a large homeless population. He said during Thursday’s meeting that he strongly prefers to work personally, according to Weinstein.


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