SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sent out his first company-wide email where he outlined the current state of Twitter and what the company has ahead of it.
The email was picked up by several publications, and according to reports, it was sent out to Twitter employees at 2:39 am ET on Wednesday. The billionaire first apologized for this email being the first one he's sent out since he acquired the company on October 27, but then went on to explain the overall situation at Twitter is dire. Musk explained that the "economic picture ahead is dire" and that Twitter is overly dependent on advertising, with 70% of its advertising being "brand rather than performance".
Musk explains that since Twitter is so advertiser reliant, he has been directing his attention toward the launch of Twitter Blue Verified Subscriptions as he believes the company needs a consistent revenue stream. Musk writes that without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance that Twitter "will not survive the upcoming economic downturn". Musk added that Twitter needs approximately half of its total revenue to be from Twitter Blue subscriptions.
Additionally, Musk explained that the company won't be throwing advertising away completely and that it will still be significantly reliant on that revenue, which is why he is working closely with Twitter's sales and partnership teams to "ensure that Twitter continues to be appealing to advertisers".
Musk didn't sugarcoat the road that Twitter has ahead of it as the Tesla CEO said that there are many challenges ahead for the company that will require "intense work to succeed". Musk's email also announced that remote work is no longer allowed at Twitter, and starting on Thursday, all Twitter employees are required to be in the Twitter office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Musk added that there are exceptions to this new rule, and he will personally be reviewing those exception requests for approval.
Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message.
Frankly, the economic picture ahead is dire, especially for a company like ours that is so dependent on advertising in a challenging economic climate. Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand, rather than specific performance, which makes us doubly vulnerable!
That is why the priority over the past ten days has been to develop and launch Twitter Blue Verified subscriptions (huge props to the team!). Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn. We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.
Of course, we will still then be significantly reliant on advertising, so I am spending time with our sales & partnerships teams to ensure that Twitter continues to be appealing to advertisers. This is the Spaces discussion that Robin, Yoel and I hosted today:
[Links to a Twitter Spaces recording called "Elon Q&A: Advertising & the Future."]
The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed. We are also changing Twitter policy such that remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have a specific exception. Managers will send the exceptions lists to me for review an approval.
Starting tomorrow (Thursday), everyone is required to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Obviously, if you are physically unable to travel to an office or have a critical personal obligation, then your absence is understandable.
I look forward to working with you to take Twitter to a whole new level. The potential is truly incredible!
In the days following the launch of Twitter Blue, the social media platform is seeing many accounts impersonate companies, celebrities, and public figures by changing their display name and purchasing the subscription service to receive the verified check mark. Twitter's own Twitter account was impersonated, and the user behind the impersonated likely scammed thousands of people with an illegitimate post that claimed Twitter Blue was free for crypto/NFT holders that "authenticated" their assets in their digital wallets.