Musk’s Twitter shake-up continued at pace this weekend, with thousands of employees sacked and paid blue-tick verification firmly on the table for UK users.
While Twitter has remained relatively quiet since the Tesla founder completed his $44bn (£39bn) takeover, the social media company confirmed that it would now allow users to buy blue-tick verified status.
The controversial move will mean that users who sign up to the Twitter Blue service for $7.99 (£7) will be able to nab a verified tick on their account, which was previously reserved for high-profile or influential individuals and organisations.
Analyst at GlobalData Rachel Foster Jones said that whilst the move could boost subscription-based revenues, it paves the way for impersonation and misinformation – leaving users to decipher genuine influencers from those who have simply paid for notoriety.
“Of roughly 300,000 verified accounts on Twitter we would estimate only about 25% would go down this path ultimately and pay the $8 per month fee,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives told Fortune.
In theory, this would mean Musk could generate an extra $7.2m a year in revenue for Twitter: a number that rather pales against the latest quarterly revenue of $1.18bn it posted.
There are also some concerns across the advertising world about what Musk’s leadership could mean, especially when it comes to content moderation and free speech.
In an email sent to a media agency last week and seen by the Financial Times, Twitter pleaded with brands to “bear with us as we move through this transition”.
The eccentric billionaire tried to soothe advertisers’ concerns himself by tweeting a poll asking if the community would support free speech or political correctness.
Audi, General Motors, General Mills and other advertisers have all pulled ads on the site, as reported by the Guardian.
Musk has started a dramatic cull of the firm’s 7,500 strong workforce, telling his followers that he had “no choice”. He said Twitter was losing more than $4m (£3.5m) per day, or about $1,000 every minute.
The dramatic scenes prompted former Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey to break his silence.
“Folks at Twitter, past and present, are strong and resilient,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter.
“They will always find a way no matter how difficult the moment. I realize many are angry with me. I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that.”
As reported by the BBC, Twitter staff in the UK have been given three days to nominate someone to represent them in a formal consultation about their employment.
In an email seen by the BBC from Twitter’s European HR department, it said employees have until 9am on Tuesday to decide who to put forward.