Twitter’s headcount reduced to 1,300 employees, report says

Social media platform has shed about 80% of its workforce since Elon Musk took over last year

Twitter's office in San Francisco. Before Elon Musk acquired Twitter last year, the company’s headcount stood at about 7,500 employees. AP
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Twitter's full-time headcount has reduced to about 1,300 active, working employees, including less than 550 full-time engineers.

The social media platform has shed about 80 per cent of its employees since Elon Musk took over last year, CNBC reported, citing internal records it viewed.

About 75 of the company’s 1,300 employees are on leave, including about 40 engineers.

Twitter’s trust and safety team is down to fewer than 20 full-time employees, the report said.

"The note is incorrect. There are about 2300 active, working employees at Twitter," Mr Musk tweeted in a response to a tweet quoting CNBC.

"There are still hundreds of employees working on trust & safety, along with several thousand contractors," the billionaire chief executive added.

Mr Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October after tumultuous months of back and forth during which he questioned the actual numbers of users on the social media platform but finally gave in as a drawn-out litigation process neared.

He cut thousands of jobs after acquiring Twitter and said that it was losing $4 million a day and advertisers were fleeing the microblogging platform.

“Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists,” Mr Musk said in a tweet on November 4.

The San Francisco-based company recently auctioned many items as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

A bird logo statue from Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters sold for $100,000 in an auction held by Heritage Global Partners. The auction also featured furniture, decorations, kitchen equipment, electronics and more, with more than 600 items up for sale.

Another method to raise revenue that has been under consideration is to put popular usernames up for auction, the New York Times reported.

Mr Musk also launched the Twitter Blue subscription service, which allows subscribers to edit tweets, upload 1080p videos and get a blue tick account verification in exchange for a monthly fee.

In addition to about 1,300 full-time employees, Mr Musk has also authorised about 130 people from his other businesses, including electric vehicle maker Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company, as well as talent from venture funds and other companies, to work at Twitter, CNBC reported.

Twitter asset auction — in pictures

However, Mr Musk tweeted on Saturday that less than 10 people from his other companies are working at Twitter.

“Internal records indicate that there are also about 1,400 non-working employees of Twitter who are still being paid, but are no longer expected to fulfill their old responsibilities at the social media company,” the report said.

Before Mr Musk acquired Twitter last year, the company’s headcount stood at about 7,500 employees.

Updated: January 21, 2023, 8:59 AM
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