Article: Musk's 'X'ploration of Twitter: A twisty tale

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Musk's 'X'ploration of Twitter: A twisty tale

X appoints a new head of safety amid ongoing concerns regarding content moderation, nine months after the departure of the previous safety leader.
Musk's 'X'ploration of Twitter:  A twisty tale

X, previously known as Twitter and renowned as a platform for political discourse, news, and entertainment, has undergone a significant metamorphosis since coming under Elon Musk's ownership. Despite Musk's endeavours to reshape the social media giant from a "hellscape" into a more wholesome environment, the company's financial outlook remains uncertain due to a notable departure of brands and advertisers.

CEO Linda Yaccarino, however, holds a steadfast belief that X, now under Musk's purview, will achieve profitability by early 2024. Yaccarino's confidence is underscored by the return of 90% of the top 100 advertisers, indicating a renewed interest in the platform.

Intriguingly, Musk's actions on social media continue to captivate audiences, regardless of the controversies that surround him. Explore a detailed chronicle of events that traces the dynamic evolution of Twitter and its enigmatic owner.

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Twitter takes flight as 'X' in Elon Musk's grand vision

The iconic blue bird logo of Twitter has flown the coop, making way for a bold "X" as the platform redirects to X.com. This marks a monumental shift in the social media landscape, as Elon Musk's "everything app" vision takes flight. The change goes beyond mere aesthetics, signifying a broader transformation of features and services. Twitter, as we knew it, is no more – it's now X, a platform poised to redefine digital interaction.

April 3, 2024: Musk appoints new safety chiefs

In response to content moderation challenges, X has strengthened its oversight team with key hires: Kylie McRoberts as head of safety and Yale Cohen as head of brand safety and advertiser solutions. This move aims to address the platform's struggles with misinformation and hate speech, which prompted several advertisers including IBM and NBCUniversal to withdraw their ad spend. 

March 27, 2024: Musk's xAI opens up Grok chatbot on X

X is expanding access to Grok, xAI's ( Elon Musk's AI company) advanced chatbot, to all premium subscribers, not just the highest tier. This wider availability coincides with xAI's decision to open-source the underlying code powering Grok. For X, it enhances the value proposition of its premium subscriptions. Grok's ability to provide potentially humorous interactions could incentivise users to upgrade from the free tier. This aligns with reported efforts by Musk to diversify X's revenue streams and lessen dependence on advertising.

The open sourcing of Grok is the intriguing aspect. By making the code publicly available, xAI fosters an environment for collaboration and experimentation within the developer community. This has the potential to accelerate innovation in the field of AI chatbots and lead to the emergence of unforeseen applications for Grok beyond the X platform. 

March 22: X rumoured to add job search feature

Following Elon Musk's vision of making X an "everything app," rumours are swirling about a potential job search feature being added to the platform. This feature would compete with established job search platforms like LinkedIn, Naukri, and Indeed. While details are yet to be confirmed by X, the feature could allow users to search for job openings directly within the platform. Filters for location, keywords, companies, desired roles, and experience levels might be included, similar to existing job boards.

March 9: X Takes on YouTube with Smart TV App

X, formerly known as Twitter, is making a move into the video streaming space with a new app designed for smart TVs. This app is seen as a direct competitor to YouTube, and could potentially launch by next week on Amazon and Samsung platforms. The move reflects Elon Musk's ambition to expand X's functionalities and potentially challenge YouTube's dominance in online video.

Feb 13, 2024: X targets creators, takes on YouTube

Seeking to lure content creators away from YouTube, social network X is introducing new ad targeting options. Starting later this month, advertisers can place ads before videos by specific creators, both in the main timeline and on individual profiles. A revenue split will be offered, granting creators another way to monetize their work.

Feb 12, 2024: Elon Musk ordered to answer SEC over X deal

A US judge has ordered Elon Musk to comply with a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requiring him to answer questions about his 2023 purchases of Twitter shares. This decision comes after Musk failed to appear at a scheduled deposition in September, prompting the SEC to file a legal application to enforce the subpoena. Musk has previously objected to the deposition, accusing the SEC of using its power to "harass" him. The SEC, however, argues that the information requested is vital to their investigation into whether Musk's stock purchases violated insider trading regulations.

Jan 27, 2024: X plans to hire 100 content moderators 

Social media giant X is set to hire 100 content moderators for its new Austin office, focusing on combating child abuse content, as per media reports. This announcement comes ahead of a U.S. Senate hearing on January 31, where X's CEO, Linda Yaccarino, will testify. Under Elon Musk's ownership since 2022, X has faced criticism for content moderation changes. In a blog post last Friday, X reported a suspension of 12.4 million accounts in the past year for breaching its regulations on child sexual exploitation—a significant surge from the 2.3 million account suspensions recorded in 2022. The new Austin centre will also address various harmful content issues.

Jan 10, 2023: Musk's plan for payments and AI

Elon Musk unveils X's plan to transform into an "everything app," with features like payments and peer-to-peer transactions. The platform, previously Twitter, is actively securing payment licenses in 14 U.S. states. Musk envisions users sending money within X, possibly offering high-yield accounts. In a blog post, the company announced the imminent launch of peer-to-peer payments, aligning with other features like creator revenue sharing and online shopping. “2023 was foundational for X, and 2024 will be transformational,” the post said. X commits to investing in creators, content partnerships, and brand safety. The announcement hints at AI integration for enhanced search, improved ads, and better customer understanding.

Jan 06, 2023: X's value dips 71% post Elon Musk takeover

Elon Musk's acquisition of social media platform X resulted in a substantial 71.5% loss in value, according to the mutual fund Fidelity, a key stakeholder. Fidelity marked down its shares, estimating X's worth at around $12.5bn, following Musk's $44bn purchase in October 2022 and renaming the platform to X in July 2023. In the first year, X saw a 15% drop in monthly users due to concerns about increased hate speech. Staff cuts, reduced moderation, and a high ratio of disinformation posts prompted a warning from the European Union. Axios reported Fidelity's revised valuation, disclosed through November 2023, capturing fallout from major companies withdrawing advertising after Musk endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory. 

Dec 13, 2023: X's 2023 ad sales to slump to $2.5 bn

Elon Musk's social network, X (formerly Twitter), is expected to see a significant 2023 advertising revenue drop to around $2.5 billion, as per Bloomberg News. Following Musk's controversial endorsement last month on X, major companies like Comcast and Walt Disney paused their advertising on the platform. X's advertising revenue for the last four quarters, covering H2 2021 and H1 2022, totalled $4.7 billion. In the initial three quarters of 2023, X recorded quarterly advertising revenue slightly exceeding $600 million, with insiders expecting a similar performance in the current period. Since Musk took over in October 2022, monthly U.S. ad revenue has consistently declined by at least 55% year-over-year.

Dec, 08, 2023: 'Over 10 Mn people signed up for X in December'

In December, X experienced a surge in user sign-ups, with over 10 million new registrations, according to a post by X CEO Linda Yaccarino. The platform, formerly known as Twitter, is grappling with a potential loss of up to $75 million in advertising revenue by year-end, as major brands hit the pause button on their marketing campaigns.

Elon Musk, the owner, had reported 540 million monthly users in July. However, recent challenges emerged when significant companies, including Apple, Disney, Warner Bros Discovery, Comcast, Lions Gate Entertainment, Paramount Global, and IBM, announced in November that they were suspending their advertisements on X. This decision came in the aftermath of Musk's endorsement of a user's false claim about Jewish individuals, which sparked criticism and led to a vocal response against the departing advertisers.

Nov, 24, 2023: X may lose upto $75M year-end - NYT

Elon Musk's social media company X faces a potential loss of up to $75 million in advertising revenue by the year-end due to a significant exodus of advertisers, as per The New York Times. This downturn follows Musk's endorsement of an antisemitic post on the platform, prompting major brands like Walt Disney and Warner Bros Discovery to suspend their marketing campaigns on the platform, formerly known as Twitter.

Internal documents obtained by The New York Times reveal that over 200 ad units from companies such as Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft have either halted or are contemplating pausing their advertisements on X.

As of the report, X disclosed that $11 million in revenue is at risk, with the exact figure fluctuating as some advertisers return to the platform while others increase spending. Advertisers have been fleeing X since Elon Musk's acquisition in October 2022, coupled with a reduction in content moderation, leading to a notable surge in hate speech on the platform. According to a Reuters report, the platform's U.S. ad revenue has consistently declined by at least 55% year-over-year each month since Musk assumed control.

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↓ November 06, 2023: Musk to integrate xAI with X

Elon Musk's xAI, a startup focused on AI tools, will now be integrated into his social media platform X and available as a standalone app, he said  in a post. The first AI model, Grok, has been released for X Premium+ subscribers. Grok is designed to provide answers with a touch of wit. Musk launched xAI in July, aiming to rival Google's Bard and Microsoft's Bing AI. It has real-time access to information via the X platform, giving it a competitive edge. xAI also collaborates with Tesla and other companies. X, the social media company previously recognised as Twitter and owned by Musk, operates independently from xAI.

↓ Oct 31, 2023: X is now worth half of what he paid last year 

When Elon Musk took the reins just a year ago, he paid a hefty $44 billion for the then Twitter. Now, insiders reveal that 'X' is valued at a comparatively modest $19 billion. Under Musk's leadership, the platform underwent a complete overhaul. Staffing changes were swift, content rules saw a revamp, and advertising revenue took a nosedive, leaving the company facing its fiscal demons. Initial estimates pegged Twitter's worth at $44 billion, but Musk's acquisition added a $13 billion debt burden. Musk's bold decisions and relaxed content policies may have deterred advertisers, contributing to a staggering 60% drop in sales. 'X' is now grappling with an annual interest payment of approximately $1.2 billion on its debt. Musk's grand plan is to steer 'X' towards a subscription-based model, a move aimed at diversifying revenue streams. Yet, the company has managed to convince less than 1% of its users to opt for the premium service, resulting in an annual income of under $120 million. 

↓ October 18, 2023: X implements fee to combat spam, bots 

In a bid to tackle spam and bot activity, X, the social media platform, unveiled a new initiative today. Starting immediately, "new unverified" users will be required to pay a nominal fee of $1 per year to engage with posts. This program, named "Not A Bot," is set to undergo initial trials in New Zealand and the Philippines.

“This new test was developed to bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. It is not a profit driver,” the company said.

The company, according to a report by market intelligence firm Similarweb, is losing traffic. and cost-cutting measures are underway as the company targets profitability in 2024. 

↓ September 28, 2023: Linda Yaccarino projects X's profitability for 2024 

Chief Executive Officer Linda Yaccarino expressed confidence that X, formerly known as Twitter, is on track to achieve profitability in early 2024. Speaking at Vox Media’s annual Code Conference, Yaccarino assured that the platform is successfully re-attracting advertisers, with 90% of the top 100 advertisers returning.

She further emphasized the platform's suitability for brands, affirming it as a secure environment. Yaccarino stated, "Now that I have immersed myself in the business, and we have a good set of eyes on what is predictable, what's coming is that it looks like in early '24, we will be turning a profit." This outlook marks a significant milestone in the company's financial trajectory.

↓ August 31, 2023: X to collect biometric and personal data 

X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, has updated its privacy policy to incorporate a new category of user data: biometric information. According to the company's revised policy, they may collect and utilise your biometric data for purposes related to safety, security, and identification, subject to your consent. X has not provided a precise definition of what falls under the term "biometric." The collection and utilisation of user data by social media companies have frequently been a subject of scrutiny from users and regulatory bodies worldwide. The specific methods through which X intends to gather biometric data and the intended purposes of its use remain unclear.

↓ August 30, 2023: Musk lifts political ad ban at rebranded Twitter

X has decided to lift the prohibition on political advertising, while maintaining its stance against the dissemination of false information. This decision coincides with the onset of the 2024 election campaign season in the United States. In a blog post, X elucidated its approach to "political discourse" as the upcoming election draws closer.

"In line with our commitment to upholding freedom of expression, we are revisiting our stance on political advertising. Commencing with the US, we will continue to enforce specific regulations for paid promotional posts of political nature," X stated in the blog. Musk, who acquired the platform in the previous year, brought back the former president in November 2022. However, Trump opted to connect with his followers through his own platform, Truth Social, albeit with a notably smaller audience.

↓ August 16, 2023: TweetDeck renamed X Pro, requires subscription

X, the rebranded version of Twitter, has introduced a subscription fee for its widely used TweetDeck platform, acquired back in 2011. The popular tool for site access has traditionally been free. However, X recently revealed plans to transition to a subscriber-only model starting this Wednesday. Users seeking to access the revamped "X Pro" version will now need to subscribe to X Premium, a service launched by owner Elon Musk. This move is aimed at generating additional revenue and comes with an annual subscription cost of $84.

↓ August 16, 2023: X delays access to content on Reuters, NYT

X, the rebranded Twitter, is causing a stir by delaying access to links from major sources like Reuters, The New York Times, and rivals including Bluesky, Facebook, and Instagram. Clicking on these links via X's platform leads to about a five-second delay before the webpage loads, as reported by The Washington Post's tests on August 15. This move, following Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter last October, comes amidst his history of clashing with news organisations critical of his ventures. It aligns with Twitter's earlier strategy of limiting links to competing social media platforms.

↓ August 1, 2023: X implements Trust and Safety team restructuring

X, formerly Twitter, is undergoing a vital trust and safety transformation. Owner Elon Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino will now co-lead this crucial function, strengthening content safeguards. Musk takes charge of X's product and engineering team, focusing on technical excellence. Yaccarino heads divisions like human resources, legal, finance, sales, and operations, streamlining efficiency. In an email to X employees on Monday, Yaccarino said the company is searching for a new leader for brand safety and suitability.

X has been subject to scrutiny regarding content moderation practices since its acquisition by Musk in October. Researchers have expressed concerns about the platform's content guidelines, with claims that some boundaries were relaxed, leading to an increase in harmful content. X, in response, asserts that the majority of content views align with "healthy" posts.

↓ July 24, 2023: Musk set to replace Twitter's iconic blue bird with an X

In a bold move on Sunday, Elon Musk, announced his plans  to overhaul the platform's iconic logo, signalling an imminent departure from the familiar Twitter brand. In a tweet, the billionaire owner hinted at a global X logo debut if a suitable design is posted. Musk posted an image of a flickering "X" and later confirmed in a Twitter Spaces audio chat that the Twitter logo will indeed change, a decision he believes should have happened much earlier. Under Musk's transformative leadership since acquiring Twitter in October, the company has rebranded to X Corp, aligned with his vision of creating a "super app" similar to China's WeChat.

↓ July 16, 2023: Twitter's cash flow still negative as ad revenue plummets 50%

Elon Musk stated on July 15 that Twitter's cash flow remains negative due to a significant decline of nearly 50% in advertising revenue, along with a substantial debt burden. Musk's earlier expectation in March that Twitter could achieve positive cash flow by June has fallen short. Musk responded to suggestions on recapitalisation via a tweet, emphasising the necessity of achieving positive cash flow before considering other options. In another tweet on July 16, Musk mentioned that Twitter did not witness the anticipated increase in advertising revenue during June. However, he expressed a slightly more optimistic outlook for July. Additionally, Musk highlighted that Twitter Spaces, the audio chat feature, has not generated any revenue yet and currently operates with all costs.

These developments indicate that the cost-cutting measures implemented since Musk acquired Twitter in October have not been sufficient to achieve positive cash flow. After significant workforce reductions and reductions in cloud service expenses, Musk revealed that the company had reduced its non-debt expenditures to US$1.5 billion, compared to the originally projected US$4.5 billion for 2023.  The specific timeframe referred to by Musk regarding the 50% drop in ad revenue remains unclear. However, he previously mentioned that Twitter was expected to generate US$3 billion in revenue in 2023, down from the US$5.1 billion recorded in 2021.

↓ July 03, 2023: Twitter cracks down on AI data misuse with daily tweet limits

Twitter has implemented temporary restrictions on the number of tweets users can read each day, as announced by Elon Musk. The purpose of this measure is to curb the utilisation of the platform's data by AI companies. Verified accounts are now limited to reading 10,000 tweets daily, while non-verified users can only read 1,000 tweets per day. New unverified accounts have a further restriction of 500 tweets. Musk stated that this decision aims to tackle excessive data scraping and manipulation of the system by third-party platforms, as some users have already encountered their imposed limits.

↓ May 13, 2023: Musk appoints Linda Yaccarino Twitter’s new CEO

Linda Yaccarino has been appointed as the new CEO of Twitter by Elon Musk, marking a significant change in leadership for the social media company since Musk's controversial takeover just six months ago.

Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, announced that Yaccarino, who previously held the position of head of advertising at NBCUniversal, would be responsible for managing the business operations of Twitter. The platform has faced financial challenges in recent times. In a tweet, Musk expressed his enthusiasm for collaborating with Yaccarino to revamp the platform into "X," an all-encompassing application.

↓ May 12, 2023: Elon Musk resigns as Twitter CEO

Billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk, has announced that he plans to step down from his position as CEO of Twitter in about six weeks. According to sources familiar with the matter, Musk is in talks to appoint Linda Yaccarino, who is currently overseeing global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, as his successor. This announcement comes several months after Musk had promised to resign from his role as Twitter's CEO once he could find someone brave enough to take on the position.

↓ May 9, 2023: Musk says Twitter to soon allow calls, encrypted messaging

Elon Musk announced new features coming soon to Twitter, including voice and video calls from your handle to anyone on the platform.

"Coming soon will be voice and video chat from your handle to anyone on this platform, so you can talk to people anywhere in the world without giving them your phone number," Musk said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The call feature will put Twitter on par with Facebook and Instagram, and encrypted direct messages. Musk's "Twitter 2.0 The Everything App" plans last year promised longform tweets and payments, and it seems the platform is heading in a direction to become more versatile. Additionally, Twitter will be cleaning up by removing and archiving inactive accounts this week. 

↓ April 27, 2023:  EU Warns Twitter Over disinformation

The European Union (EU) warned Twitter about complying with the Digital Services Act and disinformation. Twitter is one of 19 major tech platforms subject to centralised oversight by the EU's executive starting this fall. The EU's VP of values and transparency, Vera Jourova, accused the Elon Musk-owned social network of not complying with the incoming law and not making the digital information space any safer or free from Kremlin disinformation and malicious influence. Jourova tweeted that it was "yet another negative sign" from the platform.

↓ March 26, 2023: Elon Musk puts Twitter’s value at US$20 billion

Elon Musk, who suffered several hiccups after Twitter's much-publicised acquisition, put the current value of the microblogging site at US$20 billion, less than half the US$44 billion he paid for the social media platform just five months ago, US media reported.

An internal email, which was accessed by the media and dealt with a new stock compensation programme in the San Francisco-based company, blew the lid off the company's plans.  

“Twitter was trending to lose US$3B/year,” Musk said in the message.

The compensation plan values the platform at US$20 billion, slightly more than that of Snap (US$18.2 billion), the parent company of Snapchat, or of social network and creative website Pinterest (US$18.7 billion), both of which, unlike Twitter, are publicly traded.

↓ February 27, 2023: Twitter to lay off 200 employees in latest job cuts

Twitter has reportedly laid off at least 200 employees on Saturday night as part of Elon Musk's ongoing effort to cut costs since acquiring the social media platform in October. This brings the company's current workforce to under 2,000, a significant decrease from its pre-acquisition level of 7,500.

↓ February 18, 2023: Twitter to limit two-factor authentication 

Twitter plans to restrict a form of two-factor authentication from March 20 as it seeks ways to increase its revenue and reduce costs. The platform announced that only Twitter Blue subscribers would be able to use text message or SMS for two-factor authentication. Only users who pay a monthly fee for Twitter's subscription service will get to use text message authentication in order to keep their accounts secure, the social media company said.

↓ February 05, 2023: Musk claims he saved Twitter from bankruptcy

Elon Musk on Sunday claimed he anchored Twitter to sail past bankruptcy. In a Tweet, Musk said Twitter .is “trending to breakeven” and also confessed that the last three months were “extremely tough.” 

“Wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone,” Musk said. According to him, daily user count and user minutes are “still strong." Twitter has been going through upheavals after Musk completed a $44 billion deal for the microblogging site that gave him control of the company for $54.20 a share. Also last year, he became the first person in history to have $200 billion erased from his fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.

↓ January 25, 2023: Ad spending on Twitter falls by over 70% in Dec

Advertising spending on Twitter dropped by 71 per cent in December as top advertisers slashed their spending on the social media platform after Elon Musk’s takeover, data from an advertising research firm revealed.  The recent data from by Standard Media Index comes (SMI) as Twitter is moving to reverse the advertiser exodus.

It has introduced a slew of initiatives to win back advertisers, offering some free ads, lifting a ban on political advertising, and allowing companies greater control over the positioning of their ads. According to the SMI data, ad spending on Twitter in November fell 55 per cent from last year despite these months traditionally being a time of higher ad spending as brands promote their products during the holiday season.

↓ January 20, 2023: Twitter officially bans third-party clients after cutting off prominent devs

After cutting off prominent app makers like Tweetbot and Twitterific, Twitter today quietly updated its developer terms to ban third-party clients altogether.

Spotted by Engadget, the “restrictions” section of Twitter’s 5,000-some-word developer agreement was updated with a clause prohibiting “use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.” Earlier this week, Twitter said that it was “enforcing long-standing API rules” in disallowing clients access to its platform but didn’t cite which specific rules developers were violating. Now we know — retroactively.

Twitter clients are a part of Twitter history — Twitterific was created before Twitter had a native iOS app of its own. And they’ve gained a larger following in recent years, thanks in part to their lack of ads.

↓ January 19, 2023: More Twitter layoffs on the horizon

Twitter is reportedly drawing up plans for another round of layoffs, which could see nearly 2000 staff packing their bags and go, media reports suggest. 

The latest round of firing would reduce the headcount is aimed at cutting costs. Recently, crash-strapped Twitter in a reversal to it's earlier decision has asked several staff to work from home in an attempt to cut costs. The financial crunch has forced the microblogging site to sell quirky office items such as furniture, PCs, kitchenware, and Twitter memorabilia such as the Twitter bird logo and more. The layoffs will happen in the coming weeks, and employees from the product division and some other departments will be impacted. To reduce expenses, Musk has not paid rent to the landlords of several Twitter offices. 

Meanwhile, in a blow to it's financial  prospects, more than 500 of Twitter’s advertisers have paused spending on the microblogging site since Elon Musk’s takeover last year. The matter came to light on Wednesday (Jan 18), in media reports. The social media company’s daily revenue on Jan 17 was 40 per cent lower than the same day a year ago, the report added.

↓ January 11, 2023: Twitter debt dipped since Elon Musk's takeover

More trouble is brewing for Elon Musk as big banks and investors who helped him complete his $44 billion takeover of Twitter are taking a dip in their stakes and loans to the struggling social media site.

A recent security filing by Fidelity revealed that the initial stake it took in Twitter – valued at $19.66 million last October – to $8.63 million.

Insiders said the drop in Twitter’s stock value could be even bigger in reality, with multiple sources noting that the $13 billion borrowed by Musk from Twitter to fund the takeover wouldn’t even sell for 50 cents on the dollar.

↓ January 6, 2023: Elon Musk announces fresh layoffs in Ireland, Singapore offices

On Friday, Twitter announced fresh layoffs in its offices in Ireland, and Singapore, as reported by Bloomberg. These job cuts, implemented by the company, affected staff in the misinformation, global appeals, and state media departments at the Dublin and Singapore offices. Ella Irwin, Twitter's head of trust and safety, confirmed that the company had terminated the employment of certain employees. 

Among those affected by the layoffs were Nur Azhar Bin Ayob, head of site integrity for the Asia-Pacific region, and Analuisa Dominguez, senior director of revenue policy.

↓ January 4, 2023: Twitter hacked, email ids of over 200 million users leaked

On Wednesday, hackers invaded the privacy of more than 200 million Twitter users. The media broke the news the following day, and it was later revealed that the hackers had obtained and published the email addresses of the affected users on an online hacking forum. 

Alon Gal, co-founder of cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock, took to LinkedIn to express concern that the hackers would likely use the leaked Twitter database to target crypto accounts, hack high-profile and political accounts, and engage in doxxing. He also warned of the potential for "agencies around the world [to] use this database to further harm our privacy." According to reports, Gal posted about the breach on social media on December 24, but Twitter has yet to comment on the situation.

↓ January 4, 2023: Twitter to ease ban on political advertising under Musk

Twitter will soon lift its three-year ban on political advertising, according to the company. The decision is part of a shift in policy following the platform's takeover by billionaire Elon Musk. In the coming weeks, Twitter will expand the types of political advertising it allows in order to "facilitate public conversation around important topics" and align its advertising policy with those of TV and other media outlets.

It is not yet clear how significant these changes will be, but they mark a departure from the global ban on advertisements by candidates, elected officials, and political parties implemented in 2019 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who was CEO at the time.

↓ December, 21, 2022: Musk predicts Twitter to be 'cash flow break-even' next year

On Wednesday, Elon Musk defended his decision to implement severe cost-cutting measures at Twitter, stating that these efforts have helped stabilize the company's dire financial situation. In a live chat forum, Musk explained that without these measures, including the dismissal of over half of Twitter's employees, the company would have incurred annual losses of $3 billion. He noted that these cost-cutting efforts, which he has focused on over the past five weeks, were necessary given Twitter's current cash reserve of $1 billion. As a result of these measures, Twitter is expected to achieve "roughly cash flow break-even" in the coming year.

Since taking control of Twitter on October 27, Musk has made a number of controversial changes to the company, including the layoffs and the implementation of a "hardcore" corporate culture. These changes have caused concern among advertisers, who contribute 90% of Twitter's revenue, and have prompted additional employee departures.

December 20, 2022: Musk says he'll quit as Twitter CEO

Elon Musk on Wednesday said he will step down as the CEO of Twitter after 57.5% voted in favour of Musk's resignation from the post in his Twitter poll, paving the way for a successor who could be as high profile as the likes of Jack Dorsey or Sheryl Sandberg. Other prominent names such as Facebook's former chief operating officer, Sriram Krishnan engineer and close confidante to Musk, and Jared Kushner, US former presidential adviser and son-in-law of Donald Trump are in the reckoning.

In a Tweet on Wednesday, Musk said he will resign as Twitter's chief executive officer once he finds someone "foolish enough to take the job". Earlier, a clear majority of Twitter users prescribed his ouster as the 'Chief Twit' in a poll initiated by him. The result of a Twitter poll saw 57.5% of users vote "yes" to him quitting the role.

↓ December 17, 2022: Elon Musk seeks additional funds for Twitter

The managing director of Elon Musk's family office is reportedly seeking new equity investors for Twitter. Jared Birchall, Musk's money manager, has reportedly approached potential investors with an offer to purchase shares of the social media company at the same price at which Musk took the company private in October ($54.20). However, Twitter has experienced difficulties in recent months with advertisers withdrawing from the platform due to concerns about Musk's moderation policies, which have had a detrimental effect on the company's revenues and its ability to pay interest on the $13 billion debt incurred during the buyout.

↓ December 16, 2022: Twitter bans high-profile journalists' accounts

On Thursday evening, Twitter sent shockwaves through social media when it abruptly banned the accounts of several high-profile journalists from top news organisations, including The New York Times' Ryan Mac, CNN's Donie O'Sullivan, and The Washington Post's Drew Harwell. It's unclear exactly why these journalists were exiled from the platform, but it's worth noting that they had all been aggressively covering Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, in recent weeks. When news of the bans broke, Musk took to the platform to tweet that the "same doxxing rules apply to 'journalists' as to everyone else." 

The United Nations, among others, strongly condemned Twitter's decision to suspend the accounts of several US journalists who cover the social media company on Friday.
UPDATE: Twitter reinstates banned journalists' accounts

↓ December 12, 2022, Elon Musk's Twitter dissolves the Trust and Safety Council

On Monday, Twitter sent emails to its "Trust and Safety Council" members announcing the dissolution of the group. In the email, the company stated that it is currently reevaluating how to effectively incorporate external input into its product and policy development processes. This decision comes as part of new owner Elon Musk's efforts to reshape the platform and undo many of the policies and practices put in place prior to his acquisition of the company.

↓ December 09, 2022: Twitter sued for targeting women in layoffs

Two female employees who were terminated from their positions at Twitter last month have launched a class action lawsuit alleging gender discrimination. They contend that during the turbulence that preceded Elon Musk's takeover, women were unfairly singled out. This lawsuit is the fourth to arise from the November layoffs; others claim that employees weren't given enough notice before being fired, that they weren't paid adequate severance, and that Musk's demand for "hardcore" work illegally singled out disabled workers and those on family or medical leave.

↓ December 07, 2022: Elon Musk treats 'hardcore' employees to bedrooms at Twitter HQ

Elon Musk, the company's CEO, is renowned for running his workplace in a unique manner. A few Twitter employees have now been given apartments at the billionaire's San Francisco headquarters. Employees found out that some office and conference rooms in the company's headquarters had bare mattresses and curtains inside. News outlets like Insider and Forbes have confirmed the same.

↓ November 17, 2022: Elon Musk plans to find a new Twitter CEO

Elon Musk gave hint that he is open to the idea of handing over the mantle of Twitter to anyone.  His sudden revelation has surprised all. The Tesla owner said he does not want to be the CEO of any company, including Twitter. 

On Wednesday, Musk took the witness stand in a Delaware court to defend himself in a shareholder lawsuit, challenging a compensation package he was awarded by Tesla’s board of directors that is potentially worth more than $55 billion.

While testifying, the billionaire said, “I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time,” according to multiple media reports.

Elon Musk has also taken a hard stand on Twitter employees future asking them to decide by Thursday evening if they want to remain a part of the business. He wrote an email that said, employees “will need to be extremely hardcore” to build “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0” and that long hours at high intensity will be needed for success.

↓ November 16, 2022: Musk demands 'hardcore' work culture

Musk emailed all staff to outline his vision for "Twitter 2.0," which will require an "extremely hardcore" culture, with long hours and high intensity, according to reports. Employees must agree to this on Thursday or leave with three months of severance pay.

↓ November 15, 2022: Workers fired for speaking about Musk on Slack

Employees who criticized Elon Musk in Twitter's Slack channels were fired overnight via email, Platformer's Casey Newton said in a tweet. They were apparently told their "recent behaviour has violated company policy." It's unclear how many people were affected.

↓ November 14, 2022: Musk wants greater Twitter video support

Speaking via video link, Musk told business leaders during the G20 summit in Bali that he wants to see Twitter support longer-form video to bring in more content creators. He also noted that he's been working "at the absolute most amount ... from morning til night, seven days a week" since the acquisition

↓ November 13, 2022: SpaceX reportedly buys major Twitter ad package

SpaceX, Musk's aerospace company, ordered a Twitter "takeover" advertising package for its satellite internet service Starlink, CNBC reported. This will seemingly promote the service on people's Twitter timelines in Spain and Australia and can cost more than $250,000. It comes after some advertisers paused campaigns due to the upheaval at Twitter.

↓ November 12, 2022: Thousands  of contract employees seemingly terminated

Twitter cut thousands of contract employees, according to Platformer's Casey Newton, Axios, and CNBC, with Newton reporting that around 4,400 of Twitter's roughly 5,500 contractors were affected. Most didn't get any notice and found out because they lost access to the company's email and internal communications systems.

↓ November 11, 2022: Twitter blue suspended after wave of account impersonators creates chaos

Twitter Blue’s launch was suspended while it deals with a wave of impersonators that have taken over the platform. It was confirmed that existing Twitter Blue subscribers would retain access to their features, but new subscriptions were put on halt. 

↓ November 10, 2022: Twitter could be at risk of billions of dollars in fines from the federal trade commission

One of Twitter’s internal attorneys warned others in the company Slack that engineers could bear the “personal, professions, and legal risk” faced by the company. This is in part due to a 2011 deal with the Federal Trade Commission that gives “the body authority over its data security practices, with violations potentially resulting in hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in fines.” It was also said that Musk seems to care little about this particular development despite its potential to “destroy the company.”

↓ November 10, 2022 - Elon Musk reportedly tells Twitter employees that bankruptcy isn’t out of the question

Musk sent an e-mail to employees stating the economic picture ahead is “dire” and Twitter itself is too dependent on advertisers, many of whom have stopped spending due to the changes made since Musk’s takeover.

Following the e-mail, Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer reported that Musk held an all-hands meeting for Twitter employees that not only included Musk talking about ending remote work, but also saying that he has plans to make Twitter a peer-to-peer payments platform and that “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question.”

↓ November 9, 2022: Twitter adds an 'official' non-paid grey verification checkmark, then Musk kills it

Following confusion stemming from Twitter accounts impersonating brands and people, Twitter instituted an “official” non-paid grey verification checkmark alongside its $8/month blue checkmark that anyone was able to get with Twitter Blue. The plan was to give certain accounts this “official” checkmark, although not all verified accounts would receive one.

Shortly after, Musk seemingly “killed” the “official” checkmark and said, “Blue check will be the great leveller.” In the following days, the “official” checkmark popped up again for some accounts and then went away again.

Twitter said it was working on suspending accounts that impersonate others, but that hasn’t stopped verified accounts from pretending to be Nintendo, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, and many more.

↓ November 4, 2022: Twitter begins laying off up to 3,700 employees, and is now being sued for it

Twitter and its new owner Elon Musk began the layoff process at the company which would see up to 3,700 employees losing their jobs.

"In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” an internal memo read. Twitter also noted that employees would be getting a message sent to their Twitter e-mail if their job was impacted or they would be getting a message to their personal e-mail if they were laid off.

In response to the layoffs, Twitter was hit with a class-action lawsuit as it was said to be in violation of federal and California law for not giving employees enough notice. Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, said employees would get severance pay for two months.

Alongside being sued for the layoffs, Twitter began seeing some of its big advertisers — including Volkswagen AG, Pfizer Inc., and General Mills Inc. — pause their spending on the platform. Musk responded to the pausings, saying Twitter has seen a “massive drop in revenue” due to pressure from “activist groups.”

↓ November 1, 2022: Elon Musk defends Twitter verification fee, then says it will only be $8

Following the report that Twitter was gearing up to charge $20/month for verification, Musk took to Twitter to defend the decision and change the price to $8/month.

“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month."

Musk also said subscribers to the new Twitter Blue will get priority in replies, mentions, and search, the ability to post long video and audio, and receive half as many ads. Alongside saying he would be “willing to work” with publishers on Twitter a bypass on the paywall, he also said the subscription system would give Twitter revenue to “reward content creators.”

↓ October 30, 2022: Twitter reportedly planning to charge $20 per month for verification, even for those already verified

Twitter was reportedly planning on charging users on the platform $20/month to earn the coveted verification badge via a Twitter Blue subscription. Furthermore, those who were already verified would have had 90 days to subscribe or they would lose their verified status. Oh, and the team on the project was told they had until November 7 to launch the feature or they will be fired.

Prior to Musk’s takeover of Twitter, Twitter Blue cost $4.99/month and allowed users to edit their tweets, get early access to new features, and more, but it had nothing to do with verification. Under Musk’s new plan, any user could get the blue verification check mark if they signed up for Twitter Blue.

↓ October 27, 2022: Elon Musk completes takeover of Twitter, fires CEO and other top executives

Elon Musk not only officially completed his $44 billion deal to take over Twitter at the end of October, but he immediately fired the social media company’s CEO, CFO, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, and its general counsel.

Musk and former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal had their troubles, as Musk previously shared that he doesn’t “have confidence in management” in an early filing about the deal. There were also some public feuds on Twitter between the two, including one where Musk replied to a Tweet by Agrawal about "defending the company’s user metrics by tweeting back a poop emoji."

↓ October 27, 2022 - Elon Musk walks into Twitter HQ carrying a sink

Musk signified his Twitter deal was complete as he tweeted an image of him walking into Twitter’s HQ with a sink alongside the caption, “let that sink in.” Musk also updated his Twitter bio to say “chief twit.”

↓ October 4, 2022: Elon Musk agrees to buy Twitter for $44 billion, averting a trial

Musk once again agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion, averting a trial that was set for October 2022.

"We received the letter from the Musk parties which they have filed with the SEC. The intention of the Company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share," a Twitter spokesperson told IGN via email.

The trial was postponed and the court set a deadline of October 28 for Musk and Twitter to close the deal.

↓ July 19, 2022:  Twitter’s lawsuit against Elon Musk was set to start in October

A Delaware court granted Twitter’s request to expedite its ongoing lawsuit against Elon Musk and he withdrew his offer to buy the company. While the dates were exact, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick ordered the trial to start in October 2022 and said it would last five days.

Twitter originally wanted the trial to start in September and Musk wanted it to begin in February 2023.

↓ July 8, 2022: Elon Musk terminates his deal to buy Twitter, and he's promptly sued over It

Elon Musk stated he was terminating his deal to purchase Twitter. The buyout was said to be in “serious jeopardy” as negotiations dragged on, and then it was set to be cancelled entirely.

In response, Twitter confirmed it was suing Musk.

“The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement. We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery,” Twitter chairman Bret Taylor wrote.

↓ June 6, 2022: Elon Musk threatens to terminate deal to buy Twitter if spam bot demands aren't met

Musk threatened to walk away from the $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter, claiming the social media giant is in “material breach” of the merger agreement as there were issues with how many spam bots and fake accounts were reported to be on the platform. Musk claimed Twitter didn’t do enough to reveal the true numbers of these bots and fake accounts, which Twitter said hovers around 5% of total users.

"Based on Twitter’s behaviour to date, and the company's latest correspondence, in particular, Musk believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights (and the company’s corresponding obligations) under the merger agreement," Musk's lawyers wrote.

"This is a clear material breach of Twitter's obligations under the merger agreement and Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement."

↓ May 17, 2022: Elon Musk’s Twitter buyout ‘Cannot move forward until the number of bot accounts is verified’

Musk said his Twitter buyout “cannot move forward” until the social media site verified the number of bots on the platform. He said “Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of 5%,” adding that “this deal cannot move forward until he does.”

Musk said his own research led him to believe that Twitter had 20% fake or spam accounts, but claimed it “could be much higher.”

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal took to Twitter to explain that the company's internal estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5%. Musk responded with a poop emoji.

↓ April 25, 2022: Twitter accepts Elon Musk's buyout

Twitter announced that it agreed to Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid for the social media company. Twitter confirmed that, after the deal closed, the company would become wholly owned by Musk.

"Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important,” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said.

"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said. "I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all Humans."

↓ April 26, 2022: Twitter co-founder says Elon Musk is ‘singular solution I trust’

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said Elon Musk was “the singular solution I trust” following his $44 billion proposal to purchase the company. Dorsey said that Twitter’s return to being a private company as a result of the sale “is the correct first stop.”

"Twitter is the closest thing we have to a global consciousness," began Dorsey. "The idea and service are all that matters to me, and I will do whatever it takes to protect both. Twitter as a company has always been my sole issue and my biggest regret. It has been owned by Wall Street and the ad model. Taking it back from Wall Street is the correct first step.

"In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter. It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving the problem of it being a company, however, Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness."

↓ April 15, 2022: Twitter’s Board of Directors’ attempt to block Musk’s takeover

Twitter’s board of directors unanimously decided to adopt a “shareholder rights plan” to block Musk’s takeover attempt. This plan, also known as a “poison pill” is used by a company’s board of directors to stop a “hostile takeover.” It offers certain shareholders the right to purchase more company stock at a discounted price.

Since making my investment, I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve [its free speech] societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed into a private company.

↓ April 14, 2022: Musk offers to buy Twitter for $44 billion

Musk offered to buy Twitter for $44 billion, which amounts to $54.20 per share in cash. That is 54% higher than the company’s share price the day before Musk began his recent investment into the company. Twitter was valued at the time at $37 billion.

This followed a letter sent to Twitter from Musk following his investment to become the majority shareholder, saying Twitter would need to be transformed into a private company or he would leave.

“Since making my investment, I now realise the company will neither thrive nor serve [its free speech] societal imperative in its current form,” Musk said. “Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

“If the deal doesn’t work, given that I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

↓ April 11, 2022:  Musk says he won’t join Twitter’s Board of Directors

Musk decided not to join Twitter’s board of directors despite him becoming the company's largest shareholder. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal shared an internal memo on Twitter saying Musk chose not to join the board, and Agrawal said he believes “this is for the best.” That being said, he would be open to Musk’s input going forward.

↓ April 5, 2022: Twitter confirms It’s working on an edit button

Shortly after Musk became a shareholder of the company, Twitter confirmed it was working on the long-awaited edit button for the platform. The feature has been in the works since at least 2021, and Twitter announced testing was set to commence in the “coming months.”

↓ April 4, 2022: Musk announced he owns 9.2% of Twitter

Tesla CEO announced that he now owned 9.2% of Twitter, making him the largest shareholder of the social media company. He asked people if they wanted to see an edit button added to the platform.

Following the news, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said Musk would be appointed to Twitter’s board of directors, saying he felt he would bring “great value to (its) board.” Musk responded by saying he was excited to work with Agrawal and the board to make “significant improvements to Twitter in coming months.”

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Topics: HR Technology, Employee Engagement, #Layoffs, #MergersAndAcquisitions

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