Twitter is in trouble. Elon Musk overpaid, and to satisfy the $1 billion in yearly interest he must pay to lenders, he needs to come up with a way for Twitter to make a profit fast.
Bloomberg obtained a copy of an email Musk sent at 2:30 am this morning to the Twitter employees he hasn't fired yet. He told all 4,000 employees that they must now work full-time in the office (no work-from-home unless they have an excuse that he will personally consider), and that half of Twitter's revenue must be subscription-based or "there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn."
But Matt Seybold, resident scholar at the Mark Twain center predicts that, "as Musk gets desperate, he will turn the platform into a grotesque amalgam of PornHub, 8chan, Full Tilt Poker, & The Daily Wire, an account-draining pleasure island for his incel army."
Here's the email Musk sent to Twitter staff:
Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message.
Frankly, the economic picture ahead is dire, especially for a company like ours that is so dependent on advertising in a challenging economic climate. Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand, rather than specific performance, which makes us doubly vulnerable!
That is why the priority over the past ten days has been to develop and launch Twitter Blue Verified subscriptions (huge props to the team!). Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn. We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.
Of course, we will still then be significantly reliant on advertising, so I am spending time with our sales & partnerships teams to ensure that Twitter continues to be appealing to advertisers. This is the Spaces discussion that Robin, Yoel and I hosted today:
The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed. We are also changing Twitter policy such that remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have a specific exception. Managers will send the exceptions lists to me for review an approval.
Starting tomorrow (Thursday), everyone is required to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Obviously, if you are physically unable to travel to an office or have a critical personal obligation, then your absence is understandable.
I look forward to working with you to take Twitter to a whole new level. The potential is truly incredible!