Twitter layoffs continue under Elon Musk; another delay for Twitter Blue

 Elon Musk extended his job-cutting at Twitter Inc., laying off some employees in sales after they had signed on to the billionaire’s vision for the social media platform, people familiar with the matter said.

The exact scope of the latest cuts couldn’t be immediately learned. One employee said he found out early Monday that he had been laid off and was told in an email that his role was no longer necessary.

Late Monday, Musk said he was pushing back the launch of the Twitter Blue upgraded subscription service, the second delay in as many weeks after a fumbled rollout shortly after he took over the platform. Last week he said it would be relaunched on Nov. 29.

“Holding off the relaunch of Blue Verified until there is high confidence of stopping impersonation,” Musk tweeted. “Will probably use different color checks for organizations than individuals.”

Musk cut the company’s staff roughly by half earlier this month and let go of many contractors after he bought Twitter for $44 billion and took it private late last month. Twitter had roughly 7,500 employees at the beginning of this year.

When Elon Musk bought Twitter, many worried about the consequences on vulnerable users or those more likely to suffer abuse online, as Musk portrayed himself as a freedom of speech absolutist. But now that he’s taken ownership, the problem might be simpler: it’s not clear whether he has the acumen to keep the ship afloat.

Musk simply doesn’t know how a complex social media platform like Twitter works. He first decided that people would have to pay for the “blue thick” – the symbol of verification – under a new “Twitter blue” subscription. This predictably caused countless fake “verified” accounts to mushroom – including one impersonating Jesus Christ.

He then started experimenting with “gray thicks” – a new symbol for “official” accounts – creating much confusion.

Later, it emerged that key engineers and infrastructure designers had resigned en masse, leaving a question mark on the effective future of the platform – with some of them saying it is likely to break down.

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