Twitter will tell employees by email on Friday about whether they have been laid off, temporarily closing its offices and preventing staff access, following a week of uncertainty about the company’s future under new owner Elon Musk.
The social media company said in an email to staff it would alert employees by 9am Pacific time on Friday (16:00 GMT) about job cuts.
Keep readinglist of 3 items
“In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” said the email sent on Thursday, Reuters news agency reported.
Musk, the world’s richest person, is looking to lay off about 3,700 staff – about half of the Twitter workforce – as he seeks to slash costs and impose a demanding new work ethic, Reuters reported, citing internal plans.
Twitter said in the email that its offices would be temporarily closed and all badge access suspended “to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data”.
The company said employees who were not affected by the layoffs would be notified via their work email addresses. Staff who had been laid off would be notified of the next steps to their personal email addresses, the memo said.
A class action lawsuit was filed on Thursday against Twitter by its employees, who argued the company was conducting mass layoffs without providing the required 60-day advance notice, in violation of federal and California law.
The lawsuit also asked the San Francisco federal court to issue an order to restrict Twitter from soliciting employees being laid off to sign documents without informing them of the pendency of the case.
Musk has directed Twitter’s teams to find up to $1bn in annual infrastructure cost savings, according to two sources familiar with the matter and an internal Slack message reviewed by Reuters.
He had already cleared out the company’s senior ranks, firing its chief executive and top finance and legal executives.
Others, including those sitting atop the company’s advertising, marketing and human resources divisions, departed throughout the past week.
Also on Thursday, US media reported that Musk plans to start charging for Twitter’s blue check mark as early as next week.
According to The New York Times and Bloomberg, citing internal documentation, Musk is aiming to launch his $8 subscription service for users who want to obtain or keep the check mark from Monday.
Under Twitter’s current system, famous users and accounts considered to be of public interest can apply for a check mark to verify their identity free of charge.
To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Originally introduced to prevent accounts from impersonating public figures, the check mark has come to be viewed as a status symbol and, to critics, a mark of liberal elitism.
The changes will be initially introduced in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and existing users will have an interim period to subscribe or lose their check mark, the newspaper said.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Musk described the current verification procedure for high-profile accounts as “bulls***” and a “lords and peasants system”.
“Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” Musk tweeted.