What is Happening Over at Twitter?

Written by: Mirella Barrera

On April 25, 2022, Twitter announced its plans for Elon Musk to take ownership of the platform — a deal that valued the company at $44 billion.

Since CEO Musk’s Twitter takeover, a plethora of changes have been made to the “microblogging” platform, the recent of which includes long-form tweets — allowing users to tweet a whopping 4,000 characters. 

Other changes enacted include the option for users to receive a blue verification mark — previously only available for celebrities, politicians and other public figures — for a monthly subscription of $8. Twitter Blue, as the subscription was dubbed, was suspended after a string of accounts attempted to impersonate public figures, including Musk himself. The feature was relaunched in December, with more thorough review of accounts.

Such changes to the platform brought forth backlash from many Twitter users, with many arguing that the alterations would take away from the platform’s main appeal; tweets that are short and to the point.

Aiding the turmoil were a mix of erratic decisions made by the company, from laying off more than half of its employees to the reinstatement of former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. 

On Saturday, Jan. 7, laid off employees finally received their severance payments, after Musk promised these employees would receive three months of severance compensation. However, the compensation turned out to be much less than anticipated.

In late 2022, with a shocking statement, Musk revealed that he would be resigning from the role of CEO of Twitter after tweeting a Twitter poll posing the question, “Should I step down as head of Twitter?” The poll has since closed, with 57% out of nearly 18k of users voting “Yes.” 

Since, Musk has confirmed that he will be stepping down as chief executive and has begun the search for his replacement. Although no timeline has been given, it is evident that Musk will remain a prominent figure at the company.

The chaos and disarray at Twitter eventually bled into Tesla’s shares. A large portion of Musk’s — who is also chief executive at Tesla and SpaceX — wealth is attributed to the electric car company. Since Musk’s takeover of the company, Tesla’s shares have fallen significantly, losing 65% of its stock value in 2022.

This is bad news for Musk, whose net worth has fallen below that of Bernard Arnault, CEO and chair of LVMH — a luxury good’s company. On Jan. 10, Guinness World Record recognized Musk as the person with the largest drop in net worth.

Contact the author at howlnews@wou.edu