Elon Musk tells Twitter staff he wants to turn it into China's TikTok; says layoffs possible
In the first Q&A session with Twitter employees since the $44 Bn bid, Elon Musk revealed that he wants to turn the platform into TikTok and WeChat. He also considered the possibility of layoffs. Check details from the session below.
On Thursday, June 16, Elon Musk spoke with the Twitter employees during the company's townhall session. In his first interaction with the employees ever since the $44 billion takeover bid, the Tesla and SpaceX chief discussed a wide range of topics including the future vision of the company, possible layoffs, advertising and even aliens. The ten-minute conversation witnessed multiple employees asking questions and Musk candidly replying to all of them. One of the standout moments from the interaction was Musk revealing that he wanted to turn Twitter into TikTok and China's WeChat. Read on to know the details from the interaction.
Elon Musk interacts with Twitter employees, discusses the company's direction
During the session, multiple important issues were discussed, the majority of which revolved around the direction the microblogging platform would take after the eventual takeover by the richest person in the world. The conversation moved from deep diving as Musk discussed his ideas around work from home and advertising model in Twitter to candid as he discussed the possibility of aliens existing. Check out the key highlights from the Q&A session below.
Elon Musk on the future of Twitter
After being asked how Twitter could grow its user base and engagement, the Tesla chief shared his ambitious vision. He revealed that he wanted the platform to offer more utility and a wide range of services to increase the time users spent on the platform. Drawing a comparison with China's super app WeChat, he said, “There's no WeChat equivalent outside of China. You basically live on WeChat in China. If we can recreate that with Twitter, we'll be a great success”.
He also admired the algorithm of TikTok for not being “boring”. He added that a similar mechanism could be used specifically to improve news visibility and help users be more informed effortlessly.
Elon Musk on free speech
In the recent past, Musk has come under the fire for his opinions around free speech as critics have claimed that implementing free speech on Twitter would lead to hate speech. Explaining his stance, he told the employees that users should be able to say anything they want as long as it is within the legal boundaries. He also added that there was a need to balance out free speech in a way so that users feel comfortable in using the platform.
Elon Musk on work from home and possible layoffs
In two separate questions Musk was asked about his views on remote work and whether Twitter would witness employee layoffs. On WFH, he explained that only “excellent contributors” should be permitted to work remotely. He also said that many people were still hung up on the idea of work from home.
On possible firings, Musk said that Twitter as a company “needs to get healthy”. He also added that significant contributors of the company have nothing to worry about. Explaining his view on layoffs, he said that any dismissal will only be considered on the basis of performance.
Elon Musk on Aliens
After an enthusiastic employee asked if the SpaceX CEO believed in aliens, he replied that he has yet to see any actual evidence of aliens.