Elon Musk’s Twitter is a place where norms are fluid and spelling errors are tolerated. In April 2022, the CEOs of Tesla and SpaceX publicly declared their intention to acquire Twitter in an effort to eliminate spam bots and safeguard free speech.
Musk made the offer at a TED conference and stated, “This is just my strong, intuitive sense that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization.” I could care less about the bottom line. Spending $44 billion on a mediocre social media site is a lot of money for anyone, even the world’s richest man. The billionaire’s initial enthusiasm for using public dialogue to increase “the scope and scale of consciousness” quickly cooled. He made another attempt to derail the contract in May, saying that Twitter had more bots than it disclosed. After a very chaotic legal discovery procedure (during which humiliating texts were uncovered), Musk was finally compelled to sign the agreement. In October, he had taken control of the stage.
Since Musk purchased Twitter and took the company private, there has been a flurry of activity about the microblogging service, including changes to the authentication process, API access, ban reversals, and massive layoffs. Here’s a full rundown of everything that’s happened so far at the Bird app, in case you’re just joining us.
On January 31, 2022, Musk began making stock purchases on Twitter. On April 4, he disclosed that he had spent $2.64 billion to purchase 9.2 percent of the company’s shares, making him its largest stakeholder. Immediately after the news broke, Twitter’s stock price jumped by as much as 27 percent, its greatest intraday increase since the company’s IPO in 2013. Musk accepted Twitter’s invitation to join the board of directors the following day. Despite certain board members’ worries about “adverse impacts on stockholder value,” Twitter’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee recommended this three days ago. The job description included restrictions on Musk’s ability to speak publicly and increase his ownership interest above 14.9%. [On the same day, Musk called Dorsey and suggested he stay on the board, but Dorsey said no.
Musk opted not to join the board on April 11 after writing multiple tweets critical of the corporation. He instead let Twitter know he was planning to make an offer to take the firm private. Shareholder Marc Bain Rasella sued Musk for allegedly manipulating the company’s stock price and violating Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules on April 12, while Twitter’s board met with lawyers and financial advisors to deliberate over the ramifications of such a deal and their options.
We’ve compiled a running log of the most recent and most significant developments on Twitter since Musk took control:
According to an email that Twitter allegedly received, verified checkmarks are necessary to continue running advertisements on the network as of April 21; several users have provided copies of this email. About 14 years ago, Twitter began marking user profiles with a blue tick. One of the main motivations was to provide an additional weapon to combat false information spread by accounts pretending to be real individuals, in addition to protecting celebrities from impersonators. Rarely heard-of journalists at obscure journals around the world provide the majority of “legacy blue checks,” along with the tales of politicians, activists, and others who unexpectedly find themselves in the news.
After assuming control of Twitter, one of Musk’s first product initiatives was to introduce a subscription service that, for $8 per month, would issue a “blue check” to any user who met certain criteria. However, days after its release, Twitter had to briefly halt the service due to an influx of fake accounts pretending to be legitimate corporations like Nintendo, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, and Musk’s companies Tesla and SpaceX.
Musk wrote to Taylor on April 24 to tell him that his offer was his “best and final” and to please take advantage of it. After that, a number of news agencies reported that Twitter was in final negotiations to accept Musk’s offer, with a deal expected the following day. However, Reuters warned that the deal may still fall apart. Reports that Twitter was about to accept Musk’s offer boosted the company’s stock price by 5 percent on April 25. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, two of Twitter’s financial advisors, agreed that the agreement was satisfactory. The Twitter board openly and unanimously accepted the $44 billion acquisition offer, and the deal was expected to close in 2022, making Twitter a private corporation.
Taylor, Martha Lane Fox, and Patrick Pichette made up the board’s transaction committee, which conducted negotiations with Musk. In order to be finished, the purchase needs to be approved by shareholders and authorities, but the latter are not expected to provide much of a barrier. Musk was not allowed to make any negative comments about the company or its employees on Twitter in the lead-up to the acquisition’s closing. Musk reportedly agreed to pay Twitter a $1 billion breakup fee if he was unable to complete the transaction. Dorsey was to receive $978 million, and Agrawal was to receive $39 million. Although Musk was expected to act as interim CEO in the months following the acquisition’s close, he had already privately identified a replacement for Agrawal. Musk lost nearly $30 billion of his net worth after Tesla’s shares dropped by more than $125 billion the following trading day.
The redesigned service is available for $8 per month on the website and $11 per month on the iOS and Android apps. Subscribers should experience fewer advertisements, longer video upload times, and greater prominence in their tweets.