Following Elon Musk’s downsizing, CNBC is reporting that Twitter now has 6,000 fewer employees, due to layoffs and resignations, reducing the size of the company’s headcount by 80%. The news outlet cited data from the platform’s internal records.
The records are reported to show that Twitter’s fulltime headcount is presently at about 1,300 active workers, down from about 7,500 prior to Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company. Of the remaining employees, fewer than 550 are full-time engineers. Meanwhile the headcount at the Trust and Safety division, responsible for content moderation and controlling what is allowed to be posted on the platform, as well as policy recommendations, design, and product changes, has fallen to fewer than 20 full-time employees.
The report noted there are about 1,400 employees which are still being paid, but which are not expected to fulfill their responsibilities at the social media platform. Many reportedly resigned when they received an email from newly minted CEO Musk, demanding they commit to a new “hardcore” version of Twitter, which would require they abandon remote work, and work longer hours.
When Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter in October, he immediately began looking to cut costs. According to reports, this became even more necessary to offset revenue losses which occurred as advertisers paused their ad campaigns, partly due to uncertainty about how the new CEO would handle content moderation, and partly due to a raft of controversy surrounding the takeover, including statements by Musk indicating the platform would be more tolerant of speech which had previously been banned, massive staff cutbacks, as well as the reinstatement of previously banned personalities. Musk himself described the company as “in the fast lane to bankruptcy” prior to the cutbacks.
An unnamed former Twitter engineer told CNBC that the cutbacks will make it harder for the platform to maintain reliable service while introducing new features. The engineer said the platform’s code base is too big and complex, so the remaining engineers will have difficulty working together to keep the different pieces of Twitter working in concert, since they will require knowledge of different platforms and programing languages, and how they are melded together.