Now that he owns Twitter, Elon Musk has issued his first ultimatum to the company’s employees: meet his deadline to implement paid verification on Twitter or pack up and leave.
The aim is to convert Twitter Blue, a $4.99 per month optional subscription that enables additional functionality, into a more expensive subscription that verifies users.
Twitter plans to charge $19.99 per month for the new Twitter Blue subscription. Verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark under the present scheme. The employees working on the project were informed on Sunday that they must launch the feature by November 7 or face termination.
Musk made it plain in the months preceding up to his acquisition that he desired a reform of Twitter’s account verification and bot management procedures.
On Sunday, he tweeted: “The whole verification process is being revamped right now.”
Even though he has been “Chief Twit” for only three days, Musk has moved swiftly to implement changes at Twitter, beginning with a redesign of the homepage for logged-out users.
With the assistance of Tesla engineers he has recruited as Twitter advisors, he is also preparing mass layoffs of middle management and engineers who haven’t contributed to the code base in the past few months.
It is anticipated that these layoffs will begin this week, with managers already compiling names of affected personnel. Employees charged with executing Musk’s objectives since Thursday evening, when he assumed control, have worked late into the night and into the weekend.
The Twitter Blue subscription was released to the public about a year ago as a way to access ad-free articles from some publishers and make other app modifications, such as a change in the color of the home screen icon.
In the few quarters that Twitter reported results as a public business following its IPO, advertising remained the firm’s primary source of revenue. Musk wants subscriptions to account for half of the company’s total income.