New York – Elon Musk said that Twitter is worth twenty billion dollars. The news might not arouse particular reactions, if there weren’t one detail: the South African bought the social network in October, paying for it more than double its current value, 44 billion.
The email that the billionaire sent to his employees represents the admission of the big flop of the operation. In the internal message, which should have remained confidential, the owner of Twitter offered employees participation in the profits and the assignment of shares of X Holding, the company through which Musk bought the social network. The share grant program values the platform at twenty billion dollars, close to the capitalization of Snap, at 18.2 billion, and of the social network Pinterest, valued at 18.7.
Musk confirmed that the company remains in precarious financial shape and admitted that he has been a one step away from running out of liquidity. The AFP agency, through the email dedicated to the media, had asked for clarifications but Twitter generated an automatic response, also via email, in which an emoji in the shape of excrement appeared. The inelegant choice would have been dictated by Musk himself, who does not have a good relationship with the media.
Whether the risk of a crisis has disappeared is not clear, considering that the owner of the social network has continued to praise the data and interactions for months, and talked about the rush of advertisers to buy advertising space on the platform, when in reality the indications indicated the opposite: with the arrival of the biggest troller of the network, sympathizer of Donald TrumpOf Vladimir Putinand advocate for free speech against racists, haters, novaxes, and conspiracy theorists, many ad companies have suspended their Twitter campaigns.
Musk explained to employees that the mass layoff of workers, which went from seven thousand to less than two thousand five hundred in a few months, was necessary to save the accounts. The company, he added, was in danger of losing three billion dollars a year. But this unprecedented cut has ended up decapitating the departments that were responsible for controlling the security of the platform, the collection of user data. Since Musk took control, Twitter appears to be a drillable Gruyere system, it has gone haywire numerous times, multiplying doubts about Musk’s ability to manage the social network. “Twitter – wrote the owner in the email – is recovering rapidly”. But not many are ready to believe him.
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The twenty billion dollar valuation narrowly exceeds Snap, Snapchat’s ‘parent’ company, which has admitted problems with advertising sales and announced a decline in profiles. Snap has an average of 375 million daily users, more than Twitter’s 237.8 before it was bought by the South African. Musk, true to his hyperbolic tone, also argues that one day the social network will be worth 250 billionbut did not explain by what criterion.
The present, meanwhile, looks dark. Twitter filed a court complaint against unknown persons after the social network’s confidential base codes went online last year. The data had been published on the company’s GitHub Inc platform, which then removed them, but for months, according to the complaint filed with the federal district of Northern California, they remained visible to anyone. Musk wants to find out who, among his managers, or exes, put that information into the open.