Only three days have passed since Elon Musk became the owner of Twitter, and he has already managed to give the company’s employees the first ultimatum: either improve the paid Twitter Blue subscription and charge users $20 for verification, or resign. This was reported by The Verge publication, which managed to get acquainted with the company’s internal correspondence.
Musk’s directive is to change Twitter Blue, the company’s optional $4.99 per month subscription that unlocks additional features, to a more expensive option that should also add a blue verification badge to their profile. The latter was used by Twitter as a way for public figures to verify their authenticity on a social network filled with anonymous profiles, and was a completely free service. Under Musk’s leadership, they want to charge $19.99 a month for it.
Under the new owner’s plan, verified users will have 90 days to sign up or lose their blue badge. Employees working on the project were told on Sunday that they must meet a Nov. 7 deadline to launch the new subscription or face being fired.
Musk made it clear in the months leading up to his acquisition that he wanted to review how Twitter verifies accounts and works with bots. On Sunday, he wrote on Twitter: “The whole verification process is being revamped right now.”
With the help of Tesla engineers, whom Musk brought to Twitter as advisors, he is also planning mass layoffs aimed at middle managers and engineers who have not contributed to the codebase recently. Those cuts are expected to begin this week, and managers are already creating lists of employees to be cut.