Elon Musk Says The Twitter Takeover Was ‘Painful’ But Its Getting Better Now

According to Elon Musk, Twitter is on the brink of becoming profitable after implementing significant layoffs and working to bring back advertisers to the platform.

“I’d say we’re roughly breakeven at this point,” Musk said Wednesday, during a live interview with the BBC recorded on Twitter Spaces.

Musk has been pushing for Twitter to increase its revenue to recover his multibillion-dollar investment in the company. To achieve this, Twitter has been focusing on generating more income through subscription services. Users are charged $8 a month to gain access to Twitter verification badges and the ability to edit their tweets, among other features.

Musk has announced that Twitter will start removing blue verification badges from accounts that are not subscribed to the paid Twitter Blue service beginning next week.

During an interview, Musk claimed that “almost all” advertisers have resumed purchasing ads on Twitter after several paused their advertising efforts following Musk’s acquisition of the company.

Since Musk’s takeover of Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, he has attempted to significantly revamp the platform, including its content moderation policies.

However, this has unsettled many product placers, and an estimated half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have left the platform. Brands were apprehensive about Twitter’s failure to address hateful posts in the wake of the acquisition.

“Depending on how things go, if current trends continue, I think we could be … cashflow-positive this quarter, if things keep going well,” Musk said.

Musk identifies himself as a “free speech absolutist” and wants to promote free expression on Twitter, which has caused controversy. He controversially allowed former President Donald Trump, who was recently charged with 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records, back onto the platform. However, Trump has no plans to return and will instead post on his own site, Truth Social.

It is unclear whether the claim that most of Twitter’s former advertisers are returning to the platform can be independently verified by CNBC.

“Almost all of them… have… either come back or said they’re going to come back, there are very few exceptions,” Musk said.

When pressed by the BBC on which advertisers haven’t yet returned, Musk said: “I actually don’t know of anyone who said definitively they’re not coming back.”

“They’re all sort of trending to coming back. ‘Hey, jump in, the water is warm, it’s great,’” he added as his message to advertisers who had yet to return.

During the BBC interview, Musk said that the Twitter takeover process has been marked by an “extremely high” level of pain.

“It’s been really quite a stressful situation, you know, for the last several months,” he said. “It’s been quite painful, but I think… at the end of the day it should have been done.”

“Were there many mistakes made along the way? Of course. You know … all’s well that ends well.”

Since Musk’s acquisition, Twitter has undergone significant downsizing, with thousands of roles being cut. Musk has revealed that Twitter now employs around 1,500 people, down from the 8,000 staff it had when he took over.

During the same interview, Musk criticized the media, claiming that he is constantly under attack. “The media is able to trash me on a regular basis in the U.S. and the U.K.,” he said.

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