As Elon Musk takes on his new Twitter CEO role, thousands of former Twitter employees – along with millions of global users – remain unsure of the platform’s future. Following his $43 billion deal, Musk has begun to reshape the company from the ground up. And it began with his new mandate to employees: Be hardcore.
Within his first week heading the company, Musk sent an email stating that he has a new vision for Twitter, and that vision will require his employees meet new, higher standards. Working longer hours was among the top expectations.
“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” Musk wrote to his employees. “This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”
After Musk’s new vision for the company began to materialize, media reports estimated that approximately 1,200 employees have either quit or lost their jobs. According to a report by the Washington Post, concerns regarding the integrity of the company spiraled as individuals familiar with the situation claim that the loss of employees could cause serious damage. According to these reports, the departure of top software employees left a limited number of people to solve potential issues.
In addition to numerous employees, several advertisers reportedly also left the platform following Musk’s takeover. They include L’Oréal, Oreo maker Mondelez and Audi. Coupled with concerns over employee departures, Twitter users expressed unease regarding a new feature created by Musk. The new feature allowed any user who paid the required monthly fee to receive the blue checkmark that “verified” their account. Previously, the feature was available exclusively to elite users who had massive numbers of followers. Soon after the release of the new blue-check feature, Musk faced immediate backlash from notables, including Stephen King and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Since anyone who pays-up could receive the supposed brand-enhancing verification check, called the “Twitter Blue Enrollment,” the twitter handles for elites seems less credible. Bots could impersonate celebrities and fake-out household names since there is little to distinguish the scam account from the real one. Case in point, one user impersonated pharma company Eli Lilly and announced that “Eli” would be giving out “free insulin.” As a result, the company’s stock value fell more than 4%, according to Entrepreneur. Musk responded by temporarily suspending the “Twitter Blue Enrollment.”
As Musk continues to lead one of the most influential social media platforms in the world, it remains unclear whether the world will fully accept the newly managed Twitter, rebranded as an unhindered platform for free speech. Only time will tell if this new verified brand will live up to the vision of Musk and the expectations of its millions of users or continue chirping the blues.
Denise Kaigler is the founder and principal of MDK Brand Management, a firm specializing in brand strategy, business consultancy and career coaching. Prior to launching her business in 2015, Denise held senior, executive, and C-suite roles at several global brands. Denise is the author of Forty Dollars and a Brand: How to Overcome Challenges, Defy the Odds and Live Your Awesomeness, available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She is also the creator and executive producer of Brand Rewind ™, a multi-media experience that explores the actions and behaviors of personal and business brands and empowers others to learn from them. Sign up for the Brand Rewind ™ newsletter and subscribe to the Brand Rewind LIVE YouTube channel by clicking here.