Elon Musk has sent his first email to Twitter staff, warning employees to prepare for “tough times ahead” and immediately end remote working.
In the email indicated by Bloomberg News, Musk warned that a weaker economic climate in the US would pose problems for Twitter. Analysts have projected slower growth in ad spend in 2023, and as a company where ads account for about 90 percent of revenue, Twitter will be heavily impacted by this.
Musk previously said only ‘exceptional’ employees are allowed to work remotely
Musk said there was “no way to disguise the message” about these challenges. He also reportedly told employees that they were expected to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours a week and that he would only approve remote working on a case-by-case basis. Musk has previously expressed his opposition to remote work, but said in a Q&A with Twitter employees in June that “exceptional” employees would be allowed to continue the practice.
“The road ahead is arduous and will require intensive work to succeed,” Musk wrote in an email. Bloomberg. He added in another post that “In the coming days, the absolute top priority will be to find and suspend verified bots/trolls/spam.”
Twitter’s ad revenue will also be impacted by Musk’s chaotic management of the site. A number of large companies, including insurer Allianz and car manufacturer Audi, have ad spend on Twitter interrupted in response to Musk’s acquisition and his ambitions to scale back moderation on the site.
In a public Q&A on Wednesday, Musk told advertisers that he had heard their concerns and that no changes have been made to the platform’s content moderation policy yet. Musk has previously accused “activist groups” who pressured advertisers to drop campaigns (without providing any evidence for this claim) and accused these same unnamed groups of “trying to destroy free speech in America”.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s most visible change to its verification system — allowing anyone to pay $8 for a badge that previously denoted an official account — has allowed countless users to impersonate brands and celebrities. Musk reportedly said in his emails to staff that he eventually wants the Twitter Blue subscription service to account for half of the company’s revenue.