The first signs of repercussions of Elon Musk’s aggressive approach after his Twitter takeover have appeared and for the first time, Musk’s management has shown a sign of confusion. The social media company laid off close to 3,700 people on Friday, only to reach out soon thereafter to dozens of employees who it decided were either fired in error or too essential to the changes the billionaire businessman wants to make. Another of Musk’s key early goals — adding verification check marks for members of its monthly subscription service — is being delayed until Wednesday to avoid potential chaos during the US midterm elections.
CONFIRMED: Twitter is now asking some fired workers to please come back
– Some were laid off by mistake
– Some were let go before management realized their experience is needed to build new features Elon Musk is planning
FFS 😆 https://t.co/WKdtokWHoH
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) November 6, 2022
The whiplash events, as described by people familiar with the situation or in an internal company memo posted on slack, follow Musk’s own acknowledgment in a tweet that the company he and well-heeled partners bought for $44 billion is losing $4 million a day. The company has already asked some Tweeps to return, according to posts on the Blind app and Insider sources, including one who also shared a screenshot of confirmation from a Twitter employee.
A person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named to protect others’ identities, told Insider that five employees had been invited back: “These individuals are essential for Twitter’s ecosystem to function. Goons quickly realized and are asking them back.”
One of the sources said that a worker who Twitter asked to return rejected the offer because they felt “used, and think they will be fired again soon.” Twitter lopped its workforce as a way to trim costs following Musk’s acquisition, which closed in late October. Many employees learned they lost their job after their access to companywide systems, like email and Slack, were suddenly suspended. The requests for employees to return demonstrate how rushed and chaotic the process was.
A Twitter spokesperson didn’t reply to a request for comment. Twitter’s plan to hire back workers was previously reported by Platformer. “Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately, there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day,” Musk tweeted on Friday.
Twitter has close to 3,700 employees remaining, according to people familiar with the matter. Musk is pushing those who remain at the company to move quickly in shipping new features, and in some cases, employees have even slept at the office to meet new deadlines. Twitter has said it’s rolling out new features to its Twitter Blue subscription plan, offering a verification check mark for any user who pays the monthly fee. The company also said it will soon be launching other features, including half the ads, the ability to post longer videos and get priority ranking in replies, mentions, and searches.
Twitter will issue the new blue verification check marks to users who pay $7.99 a month for the service starting on November 9, according to an internal company message that was posted on Slack. The company had previously planned to roll out the subscription feature on Nov. 7, the day before the election. The company received internal and external feedback that the verification process for its Twitter Blue program could be ripe for abuse, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified. That raised concerns that candidates and other political actors might be impersonated on the site in the days before the US election.
Late Sunday, Musk said Twitter would ban accounts that impersonate others after several high-profile users changed their names and pictures to match the billionaire. Any name change at all will cause a temporary loss of a verified check mark.