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Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, so it’s big news when its ownership changes hands. Engineer and business magnate Elon Musk announced early this year that he was attempting to buy the company and take it private, but has the deal finally gone through? Read on below to find out.
Has Elon Musk officially bought Twitter?
On Thursday, October 27th, Elon Musk officially closed his acquisition of Twitter. The final price was roughly $44 million. This came after several months of negotiation and conflict between Musk and the Twitter board, who were resistant to the purchase at first.
Layoffs of Twitter staff
Shortly after finalizing the Twitter deal, Musk fired several top executives at the company, including CEO Parag Agrawal and Vijaya Gadde, head of the company’s trust and legal policy teams. Executives aren’t the only ones facing a cut – mass layoffs of many staff members have begun as well.
Before closing the deal, Musk reportedly told investors that he planned to fire up to 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, but it’s unknown whether the number of total layoffs will actually go that high. According to an internal letter sent to Twitter employees, the layoffs are “an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path.” The company was reportedly planning for mass layoffs anyways and would have most likely fired up to a quarter of the staff by the end of next year due to budget concerns.
New content moderation board
Elon Musk’s free speech ideas for Twitter initially caused some to worry about how the platform will tackle issues of racism and other unwanted content. Some people were concerned that Musk would allow all previously banned accounts back on Twitter and take no action to fight harmful content on Twitter, but he addressed these concerns in a tweet shortly after finalizing the purchase of the platform.
On Friday October 28th, Musk tweeted, “Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.” Musk has announced no plans to reinstate the accounts of individuals who have been banned from the platform for life, most notably including former president Donald Trump.
Musk’s plan for Twitter
Musk made it clear that he had big changes in mind for Twitter from the beginning, and so far, he seems to be following through. Musk has voiced concerns about the profitability of Twitter, which he revealed is losing an average of $4 million per day. Employee layoffs and other budget cuts will help increase profitability, but that’s not all Musk has planned.
Musk and other remaining top executives at Twitter have announced plans to revamp Twitter’s premium subscription plan, “Twitter Blue.” Under the new plan, users of the platform will have the option to pay $8 per month for several premium features, including a “blue checkmark.” This icon, which is displayed next to a user’s profile picture, was previously reserved for celebrities or anyone the platform deemed to be influential enough to receive one.