Now that he owns Twitter, Elon Musk has issued his first ultimatum to employees: meet his deadline for introducing paid guarantee on Twitter or pack up and leave.
Employees working on the project were told Sunday that they must launch the feature by November 7th or face termination. Verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark under the current plan.
Musk stated repeatedly in the months leading up to his acquisition that he wanted to change the way Twitter verifies accounts and handles bots. He tweeted on Sunday, “The entire verification process is being revamped right now.”
Casey Newton, a platformer, was the first to report that Twitter was considering charging for verification. A Twitter spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Even though he has only been “Chief Twit” for three days, Musk has moved quickly to make changes at Twitter, beginning with changing the homepage for logged-out users. He’s also planning mass layoffs of middle managers and engineers who haven’t recently contributed to the code base with the help of Tesla engineers he’s brought in as advisors at Twitter.
Managers are already compiling lists of employees to lay off, and the cuts are expected to begin this week. Employees tasked with carrying out Musk’s projects have been working late into the night and over the weekend since he took control on Thursday evening.
The Twitter Blue subscription became widely available almost a year ago as a way to view ad-free articles from select publishers and make other changes to the app, such as changing the color of the home screen icon. Advertising remained the vast majority of Twitter’s revenue in the few quarters following its initial public offering. Musk wants subscriptions to account for half of the company’s total revenue.