Quick check-in on the Elon Musk Twitter takeover, to see how things are going. So is Musk set to become the King of the Tweets any time soon?
Well, no, but it does potentially appear that the deal may be progressing once again, after Twitter recently provided Musk’s team with its ‘full firehose’ of tweets, in order to let them conduct their own analysis of fake profiles in the app.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, Musk has scheduled a meeting with Twitter employees for this Thursday, which will give Twitter staff a chance to ask Musk directly about his plans for the app.
As per Bloomberg:
“Elon Musk will address Twitter Inc. employees at a company-wide meeting this week, the first time the Tesla Inc. chief executive officer will meet with employees since agreeing to buy the company for $44 billion in late April. The virtual meeting is set for Thursday morning, and Musk will take questions from Twitter employees, the people said.”
Which should go well - no doubt Twitter employees will be completely open to hearing from the man who’s been publicly criticizing their colleagues and policies since launching his takeover push for the platform some 9 weeks ago.
As some readers may recall, Musk was actually scheduled to meet with Twitter staff back in April, following the news that he had purchased more than 9% of the company’s shares. At that time, Musk had just become Twitter’s biggest shareholder, and hadn’t launched a takeover push as yet – but after meeting with Twitter execs, and listening to their plans for the platform, Musk decided that he had no faith in the company’s management, and opted not to meet with staff as a result.
Since then, Musk has continually criticized Twitter’s processes, taking aim at everything from its growth strategies, to its flawed profile verification process, to its perceived left-wing bias, to the infestation of bots in the app.
The latter has become a key point of contention, with Musk posting a comment on May 13th which claimed that his Twitter takeover deal was effectively ‘on hold’ till Twitter could provide more evidence that its active user count was not dominated by bots accounts.
As noted, Twitter finally responded to this last week, when it gave Musk’s team access to its full tweet database, essentially putting the onus on them to conduct their own, independent analysis of its content, in order to disprove its claim that fake profiles only make up 5% of its users.
The fact that Musk is now willing to meet with Twitter staff seems like an indicator that this could have been enough to get the deal moving again. Though that’s only speculation, as we have no idea what Musk’s team will eventually find, or whether Musk himself will choose to believe, in any way, that its fake profile count is that low.
Because as Musk has repeatedly stated, he’s pretty confident it’s more than that.
20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2022
My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.
Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%.
This deal cannot move forward until he does.
Yet, even if Musk does find that fake profiles make up more than 5%, that doesn’t mean that he can get out of the Twitter deal, as some have speculated, with Twitter falling back on its estimates that have been accepted by the SEC in its past performance reporting.
If Musk’s team actually found the number to be 20%, as Musk says, Twitter could incorporate its detection methodology into its future reports. But that still wouldn’t mean that Twitter has acted in bad faith in the deal, and sought to mislead Musk and Co. in the process.
Without clear ill intent, the deal seems likely to push ahead - and now Twitter staff will be able to press Musk on his vague plans for the app, which include targeting 200% growth over the next three years, as well as a 5x increase in Twitter revenue by 2028.
Musk has also said that he plans to cut 1,000 roles from the company over the next year, which will likely make this a particularly testy meeting.
But if Musk has any concerns, he’s not showing it, as he continues to tweet juvenile jokes in the app.
Because 69, it’s rude… get it?
It’s honestly hard to tell whether Musk is a genius visionary or a sheltered frat boy – and I guess, really, he could be both.
But his Twitter plans certainly seem ambitious, to say the least.
Maybe we’ll find out more this week.