Elon Musk offers thoughts on finance and space aliens in first meeting with Twitter team

Elon Musk held a meeting with Twitter officials on Thursday detailing his vision for the social media platform, despite his threat to back out of his takeover deal if the company does not share data on spam bot accounts.

That general meeting was the first time the billionaire has answered questions from employees since Twitter’s board announced it would sell the company to Musk for $44 billion in April.

The call was closed to reporters, but several key moments were leaked to the media.

Asked if he is considering layoffs, the richest person in the world did not respond directly.

“The company needs to get healthy,” Musk said, people attending the meeting told Bloomberg. “Right now, costs exceed revenue, so this is not a good situation to be in.”

“Obviously, a significant contributor shouldn’t have anything to worry about,” Musk continued.

In May, Twitter announced a hiring freeze, except for business-critical roles, and fired two executives.

Musk also talked about product changes he would consider, including some that could increase revenue. He said users can be authenticated through Twitter Blue, the company’s paid subscription offering, currently rolled out in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

He also discussed spam bots Twitter accounts, a bone of contention for concluding the deal, and how the company should crack down.

“It has to be a lot more expensive to have a troll army,” Musk said, according to The Verge.

Agrawal said on Twitter that spam accounts account for less than 5% of monetizable daily active users. The analysis didn’t seem to satisfy Musk, who tweeted a poop emoji in response.

Musk, who required Tesla and SpaceX employees to return to the office for a minimum of 40 hours a week, said he could accept Twitter employees working from home if they are “exceptional.” In May 2020, then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told employees that they could work remotely forever if they chose to.

“The bias definitely needs to be strong to work in person, but if someone is exceptional, remote work can be good,” Musk told Bloomberg.

“If someone is great at what they do but can only work remotely, firing them even if they are doing great work would be insane,” Musk continued. “So I’m definitely not in favor of things that are, like, crazy. I’m all for things that build the business and make it better.”

Musk, who was introduced by Agrawal for Thursday’s meeting, reportedly took the call 10 minutes late from what appeared to be his smartphone, according to The Verge’s deputy editor Alex Heath.

Musk, asked to define Twitter’s success over the next five to 10 years, told the team he would like to see daily active users reach 1 billion, according to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal. Currently, Twitter reaches approximately 229 million monetizable daily active users worldwide.

Musk also told employees he would like Twitter to learn from Chinese apps WeChat, used in everything from instant messaging to e-commerce, and TikTok, praising its algorithm for being interesting, according to The Verge.

“There is no WeChat equivalent outside of China,” Musk said. “You basically live on WeChat in China. If we can recreate that with Twitter, we will be a big hit.”

During the call, Musk wandered beyond day-to-day operations, saying he saw “no real evidence of aliens.”

“Can we travel to other star systems and see if there are alien civilizations?” Musk asked, according to the BBC.

Twitter can help “civilization and consciousness,” Musk added.

When the 45-minute call ended, Musk turned off the camera. A two-handed avatar molding the number 69 appeared, interpreted as a reference to sexual position, a source told Reuters.

Leave a Comment