With Elon Musk Takeover, Twitter Job Cuts Seem Imminent

Twitter’s Elon Musk era has arrived.

According to numerous reports, Musk’s takeover of the social-media giant on Oct. 27 was immediately followed by semi-controlled chaos, with engineers working through the weekend and executives compiling lists of employees for potential layoffs. “There seem to be 10 people ‘managing’ for every one person coding,” Musk Tweeted on Oct. 30, which suggests some Twitter employees could be facing a very bad week.

Before Musk’s takeover, documents obtained by The Washington Post suggested Musk would potentially eliminate roughly 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500 employees. Twitter was already facing the prospect of significant cuts to its workforce and infrastructure by the end of 2023, including a reported $800 million in payroll reductions. 

But once the chaos settles, what will Musk actually do with his absurdly large purchase? Previously, he hinted at plans to turn Twitter into a “super app” that offers users a combination of services in addition to social media—a type of app that’s hugely popular in China but not really present in the U.S. According to The Verge, Twitter might also start charging its verified users $20 per month in order to maintain their status.

Despite all the chatter about job cuts, Musk needs critical engineering staff to make his plans a reality (and drive growth, which is the only way he’ll service the acquisition’s enormous debt payments). According to levels.fyi, which crowdsources compensation data, Twitter’s technology professionals earn six-figure salaries, especially once they reach mid-career; for example, software engineers at the SWE II average $250,000 per year between salary, stock, and bonuses. Musk will need to keep paying that if he wants to retain talent, especially since tech giants such as Meta and Google are suddenly very interested in poaching Twitter’s best and brightest.

What happens now is anyone’s guess. Will Musk renew Twitter and turn it into an engine of engagement and growth? Or is the site doomed to slowly decline and die? Only time will tell.  

3 Responses to “With Elon Musk Takeover, Twitter Job Cuts Seem Imminent”

  1. jake_leone

    Unfortunately, Twitter hasn’t innovated for a decade. All the while, Twitter has lost users to Instagram, TikTok, Meta, even YouTube.
    Twitter needs to attract users.
    Charging a monthly fee, for verification, won’t help, because many people (for example individuals, unelected starting politicians, and reporters with limited income) won’t be able to budget that 8$ fee.
    Charging for video, not a good idea. Because video could become an attraction to Twitter, but not mediocre stuff that you have to pay for.
    The best thing Elon can do, is fire the unnecessary staff. That could be as much as 95% of the company. And hire a new motivated crew that will work for lower pay, and future stock options. Moving to Texas or some other lower cost of living state, is also a good idea.
    And work on implementing Automatic Content Generation (with video, voice, music as components of that ACG).
    ACG could help users create political cartoons quickly, or animated stories (even ultra-realistic animation).
    As for bots, well ACG is a bot. Bots were not the problem for Twitter, they might be a solution to attracting users. If we had a good comedy bot, that could be something that could attract users.
    Right now we are still in the Content Wars, but that war will be over when content generation goes nuclear, with the ACG Death Star. Such a system, will generate whole episodes on you desktop, and it is coming (I predict within a decade).
    BTW, the argument between LeCun and Marcus about symbolic reasoning is moot. Literally, the diffusion modelers rely on compression of image data (THAT IS ITSELF A FORM SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION AND REASONING). The rest is a clear separation of (Compression to a Semantic,(AKA latent) space) and a Gan-Like Unet that works as the style+semantic denoiser). Such systems can learn to imitate any style of image, they are as yet imperfect for non-localized details (example arms/legs which on non-localized on images, AKA arms/legs are spread out (similar to the mistakes made by text generators)) hence we see deformities). But round faces, basic body shapes are there. Scene placement, is near ideal. Style imitation, is near perfection for these generators.
    If Twitter isn’t allowing users to express their newly minted capability to implement content, Twitter will fall by the way side. As the ACG arms race is underway, and is attracting users and watchers.
    Twitter will then be sold for pennies on the dollar that Elon invested. Further, Twitter will join the growing Luddite crowd that is calling for some kind of NEO-Amish regression, in order to preserve employment under a (progress-frozen) capitalism.
    Some other countries will instead pick up the ball and create conditions where work is optional, and robots (being immensely profitable) can be taxed as well as a static wealth tax.
    I mean if that is what you want, you can have that.
    But I would much rather be whining about being unable to find a job, while receiving a government welfare check (paid by taxable robots and rich people with excessive wealth), asking for a 9-iron from my robot (bought cheaply by the welfare state), while golfing on the community golf course.
    Then be stuck flipping burgers (because some law outlaws robots in the work place) and waiting forever for the next season of Rick and Morty (or any other series I like to binge watch).
    BTW, Elon here’s a hint about Mars. Send Robots first, have them maintain and prepare a base with escape craft for humans. Do that first, fewer deaths, greater chance of success. If you care about humanity, then you care also about individuals, individual humans are not expendable if you really care about humanity.
    If you think humans are expendable, then you don’t care about humanity.
    Instead, what you care about is Farming and Animal husbandry, where the weak animals are left to die and the strong survive and reproduce. And then you go from there to the Ant-Colony, and the Locust Intergalactic species that roams the galaxy, without regard to if there is an existing eco-system. Oh!, and don’t forget about the future intergalactic wars that you will spawn, with deaths of individuals several orders of magnitued greater than humans on Earth have ever experienced.
    Please, Elon, expand your mind and see the big picture.

  2. Free American for now

    Chaos? The only chaos is for the leftist censor who will be getting a well deserved kick in the behind and a lesson in what public discourse and the 1st amendment is all about. The 1st does not mean those in power can say anything they wish and those not in power can only say what the former allow them to say.

  3. jake leone

    Elon’s Twitter is about public square free speech. But it is clear, the product (for many advertisers) was the curated/censored/monitored users of Twitter. The only solution, for Elon, is to periodically turn off (for short, indeterminate periods) the accounts of liberal users, including the SPLC and the current White House. Twitter is a private company, he can do this, Twitter before Elon did exactly this to conservative law makers and respected news orgs they were afraid of, without cause. The result of this will be that law makers will make all of Social Media the de-facto Public Square. And so Twitter will have removed the obstacle, by equalizing the playing field with advertisers.
    It is unethical, but no worse than Zuckerberg selling user data (and pandering to cyber bullying of young teenagers), Bill Gates diverting an entire plane so he could make a key meeting with IBM, and no more unethical than the Silicon Valley no poaching scandal.
    They all do unethical things. Selectively turning off the accounts of liberal groups, commentators, politicians, and White House, will result in liberals become sensitive to the need to preserve free speech in Social Media. The political views of employees in Social Media should not be allowed to interfere with American Constitutional Freedom.
    When conservatives protest, they protest hard, liberals. Start thinking about how you can increase freedom, or risk revolution.