Elon Musk thinking of putting Twitter behind a paywall

  • Elon Musk took over Twitter after paying around 44 billion USD for the deal.
  • After coming to power, Musk became the sole board member and fired 50% of Twitter’s global workforce.
  • The latest aftermath of his takeover is the decision to put Twitter behind a paywall that will restrict the website to paying users only. 

On April 14th, historically, Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, moved to acquire one of the world’s leading microblogging social media platforms, Twitter.

Musk managed to buy out the company for USD 44 billion as the firm accepted the deal on April 25th. After the deal faced a temporary halt on 8th July owing to the billionaire’s dissatisfaction with the official figures on bot accounts, it finally went through without a trial.

And so on October 26th, in a video Elon Musk released himself, he is seen entering the Twitter headquarters carrying a sink.

Ever since his entry, employees of the firm and people all over the world were waiting with bated breath to see “major changes” come to life after the transfer of power. And these changes, so far, have been radical, to say the least.

The aftermath of the takeover

Musk who always called himself a “free speech absolutist” has allowed several banned accounts on Twitter to come to life. This includes ex-US President Donald Trump whose account was suspended following the march on the Capitol last year.

Furthermore, after publicly stating that he “overpaid” to acquire the social media platform, Musk’s deal undoubtedly left a bitter aftertaste in his mouth. To the fear of employees at Twitter, this could only translate in one way, and it did, massive layoffs.

Almost as soon as he took charge, Musk fired some of the major players in the Twitter boardroom. Such names included Twitter ex-CEO Parag Agarwal with whom Musk had engaged in several “tweet battles” before.

Musk also fired Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal, policy, and trust; Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, and Sean Edgett, who has been general counsel at Twitter since 2012. After firing almost all of his board members, Musk established himself as the sole member of the Twitter boardroom.

Many Twitter staff awoke on Friday to find they were locked out of their laptops and their access to the company Gmail and Slack had been revoked.

An employee tweeted to inform the world that she was logged out of her company-issued Macbook and it won’t turn on. In certain cases, an entire team of workers has found themselves unemployed due to being locked out of their work accounts.

According to Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity took to the platform to report that nearly 50% of the company’s global workforce of 7,500 was cut.

Such large-scale downsizing on behalf of Musk is not sitting well with jilted employees and so the firings have already prompted legal action in the US. Lawyers claim that Musk’s actions are against California employment law and are looking to drag him down to the court.

A class-action lawsuit was filed on Thursday in federal court in San Francisco on behalf of one employee who was laid off and three others who were locked out of their work accounts. It alleges that Twitter intends to lay off more employees and has violated the law by not providing the required notice.

In his defense, Musk claimed in a tweet that every employee laid off was offered three months of severance. But the New York Times reported that employees were given few details about severance.

A new concern: what is the paywall?

The topsy-turvy course of Musk’s reign as the CEO of the multi-million dollar company continues.

Recently the CEO of Tesla claimed that he has decided to put his newest acquisition Twitter behind a paywall.

It is a feature when certain parts or even the whole website can be restricted to unpaid subscribers.

The main aim of a paywall is to monetize the content available on a particular website and increase income from it. A paywall is a stepping stone to features such as different types of subscriptions where the higher the price, the higher the feature available to the user.

This adds to the already existing struggles of the company after the massive firing of the highest-placed individuals from the organization after the 44$ billion takeovers. Twitter has been trying to lure some of its older employees back.

Some of the employees also claim that Twitter is planning to relaunch its Twitter Blue subscription. This move hasn’t gone down well with most of the existing employees as they feel this will be a further hit on the economic conditions of the company and they will bleed more money. At present, the company is reporting 4 million USD in losses every day.

Amidst all this chaos, Elon Musk hasn’t yet broken his silence. The company is yet to hear from the Canadian billionaire in an official statement or mail from his office. As Monday began, some employees weren’t even sure who their reporting manager was. Safe to say that Twitter isn’t functioning like a well-oiled machine under Musk.

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