Elon Musk sent his first email to Twitter employees on Wednesday evening, warning of a “challenging economic climate” ahead and the need for the company to launch Twitter Blue verified subscriptions to help “survive the upcoming economic downturn.”
After laying off half of Twitter’s workforce and gutting entire teams, Musk is battling advertisers who have paused their ad spend on the service in response to his takeover, chaotic management style, and his own tweets. Musk launched a new Twitter Blue subscription for $7.99 a month on Wednesday, allowing anyone in supported countries to pay for verification.
“We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription,” says Musk in his email to employees, but the verification push is off to a rocky start with fake verified accounts masquerading as brands and celebrities over the past 24 hours.
Musk also makes it clear to employees that they’re now required to be in the office. “Everyone is required to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week,” says Musk.
We obtained Musk’s first email to Twitter employees, and here it is in full:
Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message.
Frankly, the economic picture ahead is dire, especially for a company like ours that is so dependent on advertising in a challenging economic climate. Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand, rather than specific performance, which makes us doubly vulnerable!
That is why the priority over the past ten days has been to develop and launch Twitter Blue Verified subscriptions (huge props to the team!). Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn. We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.
Of course, we will still then be significantly reliant on advertising, so I am spending time with our sales & partnerships teams to ensure that Twitter continues to be appealing to advertisers.
The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed. We are also changing Twitter policy such that remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have a specific exception. Managers will send the exceptions lists to me for review an approval.
Starting tomorrow (Thursday), everyone is required to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Obviously, if you are physically unable to travel to an office or have a critical personal obligation, then your absence is understandable.
I look forward to working with you to take Twitter to a whole new level. The potential is truly incredible!