Musk Says He Wants One Billion Users on Twitter: Live Updates

SAN FRANCISCO – For weeks, Elon Musk has trashed Twitter in public. On Thursday, he acted like he would lastly personal the corporate.

In an hourlong question-and-answer session within the morning with Twitter’s 8,000 or so staff – the primary time Mr. Musk has spoken with them since he hit a $ 44 billion deal to purchase the social media firm in April – the world’s richest man opened up about his plans for the service. In an effusive and at occasions rambling deal with, he touched on progress, potential layoffs, points like anonymity, Chinese apps and even the cosmic nature of Twitter.

“I need Twitter to contribute to a greater, long-lasting civilization the place we higher perceive the character of actuality,” Mr. Musk stated within the digital assembly, which was reside streamed to Twitter staff and which The New York Times listened to. He added that he hoped the service may assist humankind “higher perceive the character of the universe, as a lot as it’s attainable to grasp.”

The assembly, which Mr. Musk participated in from his cellphone in what gave the impression to be a resort room, advised that he was set on closing the blockbuster deal. In current weeks, his intentions in direction of Twitter have been unsure. The billionaire, who additionally runs the electrical carmaker Tesla and the rocket firm SpaceX, has repeatedly raised questions on Twitter’s faux accounts. This month, his legal professionals stated the corporate was refusing to offer him data, an obvious pretext for doubtlessly attempting to finish or renegotiate the acquisition.

Mr. Musk, who provided $ 54.20 a share to purchase Twitter, could have had a change of coronary heart after world markets tumbled. Twitter’s inventory is now buying and selling round $ 38. And shares of Tesla, that are Mr. Musk’s essential supply of wealth, have additionally plummeted.

In April, Mr. Musk had agreed to purchase Twitter with out doing any due diligence. He is on the hook for a breakup payment of $ 1 billion if he walks away. Under the phrases of the deal, Twitter additionally has the precise to sue him to pressure a completion of the acquisition, if his debt financing for the acquisition stays intact.

Twitter has insisted that the deal stays on observe and that it has been sharing data with Mr. Musk.

In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. Musk didn’t straight deal with whether or not he would shut the cope with Twitter. But he stated he had grand plans for the service.

In the dialog, which was moderated by Twitter’s chief advertising and marketing officer, Leslie Berland, Mr. Musk stated he hoped to develop the service in order that it could be utilized by multiple billion individuals the world over. That could be practically 4 occasions the quantity of people that use Twitter at the moment. He added that he was hands-on at Tesla and anticipated to be so at Twitter, and could be particularly concerned within the social media service’s options.

“I do anticipate that they are going to hearken to me on this regard,” Mr. Musk stated.

Mr. Musk answered questions collected from Twitter staff on the interior Slack messaging system previously week.

Some of the questions have been about office tradition, together with distant work. This month, Mr. Musk despatched memos to staff at Tesla and SpaceX, saying he anticipated them to be within the workplace for 40 hours every week. Twitter’s staff have largely labored remotely within the coronavirus pandemic.

In the assembly, Mr. Musk stated he was open to Twitter staff who labored remotely, provided that creating software program was totally different from exhibiting up every day to construct automobiles. But he famous {that a} broad lack of in-office participation may contribute to a dwindling “physique spirit” and stated he hoped that folks could be keen to return into the workplace extra sooner or later.

Mr. Musk dodged straight answering whether or not there could be layoffs at Twitter below his watch, although his reply was ominous.

“Right now, prices exceed income,” he stated. “That’s not an incredible scenario.”

Mr. Musk, a longtime energy person of Twitter with greater than 98 million followers, has lengthy stated he believes the corporate’s potential is underutilized. He has added that he hopes to rejuvenate the service exterior the attention of the general public markets by taking the corporate non-public and making important adjustments to how Twitter operates.

Inside Twitter, some staff have had blended emotions about Mr. Musk. Some have stated they’re involved about his Twitter habits and murky politics, and are fearful about how he has stated he would favor to take a laissez-faire strategy to policing the platform. That has stoked questions, given the years that Twitter spent build up its coverage division.

Others level to Mr. Musk’s status as an innovator. After previous Twitter executives set however failed to achieve excessive monetary and person efficiency targets, some staff have stated Mr. Musk may reinvigorate the corporate.

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