After Musk takeover, what’s next for Twitter?

Musk’s free-speech promise may make it difficult for Twitter to become more lucrative. Photo: Reuters
Musk’s free-speech promise may make it difficult for Twitter to become more lucrative. Photo: Reuters


  • Elon Musk has fired top executives, taken the company private and made promises about the platform’s path ahead. Mint explains what’s lies next:

What were Musk’s first steps at Twitter?

Musk fired four top executives from the company, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, general counsel Sean Edgett and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. According to various reports by American media, Musk is also set to lay off a sizable part of Twitter’s staff, although the scale of these layoffs haven’t been confirmed yet. The New York Times reported that managers have already been asked to work up lists of employees who will be let go. He also announced that a “content moderation council" will be formed. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before the council convenes," he tweeted.

What key promises did he make?

On the eve of his Twitter takeover, billionaire Elon Musk wrote a message to advertisers promising them that the social media platform won’t become a “free-for-all hellscape". The message from the Tesla CEO further added: “In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform should be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature." One of the key elements of Musk’s takeover has been to make Twitter a “common digital town square".

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What are the key challenges?

Monetization has always been a challenge for Twitter, and experts noted that Musk’s ‘free speech promise’ may actually make it even more difficult to make the social media platform as lucrative as, for example, Meta Platforms-owned Facebook. Musk, however, downplayed economic considerations in his message to advertisers on 27 October.

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Will there be layoffs in India?

Experts say India is a low-cost labour force country for Twitter, and may not be as susceptible to downsizing. They said that India’s large internet user-base could also be important if Musk plans to continue Twitter’s effort to build a subscription-based business model in future. In the legal battle over Twitter, Musk noted in a counterclaim that India is Twitter’s third-largest market. The company had also announced plans to expand its engineering team in India in April 2021, but employees are unsure of their future now.

Will it impact Twitter’s relations with India?

With Musk saying he wants to make Twitter a haven for free speech while respecting laws, many feel that India’s changing regulations may remain a point of friction for the firm. For instance, many experts have said that the amended IT Rules may lead to over-censorship and could affect free speech on social media, including Twitter. Experts have also warned that decisions Musk makes with Twitter may affect the fortunes of SpaceX and Tesla in India, which are more valuable than the social media firm.

Elsewhere in Mint

In Opinion, Manu Joseph tells how Rishi Sunak makes an ideal ambassador of Hinduism. Data analysis by Jayati Sharma & Sahil Deo shows India has gained stature at the US. Sandipan Deb tells why Europe's "garden" is under a severe attack of blight. Long Story predicts the future of the present energy crisis.

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