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Musk Plans to Meet with Twitter Staff This Week, as Takeover Deal Continues to Progress

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Elon Musk Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter

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.

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.



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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like Elon Musk’s chaotic management approach at Twitter is having some broader impacts, with more companies reportedly considering lay-offs in the wake of Musk culling 70% of Twitter staff (and keeping the app running), and Meta now apparently also considering charging for blue checkmarks in its apps.

Yes, the Twitter Blue approach to making people pay for verification, which hasn’t proven overly popular on Twitter itself, is now also seemingly in consideration at Meta as well.

According to a new finding by reverse engineering pro Alessandro Paluzzi, there’s a new mention in the codebase of both Facebook and Instagram of a ‘paid blue badge’.

Paluzzi also shared a screenshot of the code with TechCrunch:

That does appear to refer to a subscription service for both apps, which could well give you a blue verification badge as a result.

Mets has neither confirmed nor denied the project, but it does seem, at least on the surface, that it’s considering offering checkmarks as another paid option – which still seems strange, considering the original purpose of verification, which is to signify noteworthy people or profiles in the app.

If people can just buy that, then it’s no longer of any value, right?

Evidently, that’s not the case, and with Twitter already bringing in around $7 million per quarter from Twitter Blue subscriptions, maybe Meta’s looking for a means to supplement its own intake, and make up for lost ad dollars and/or rising costs of its metaverse development.

It seems counter-intuitive, but I guess, if people will pay, and the platforms aren’t concerned about there being confusion as to what the blue ticks actually mean.

I guess, more money is good?

Meta has, in the past, said that it won’t charge a subscription fee to access its apps. But this, of course, would be supplemental – users wouldn’t have to pay, but they could buy a blue checkmark if they wanted, and use the implied value of recognition for their own purposes.

Which seems wrong, but tough times, higher costs – maybe every app needs to start digging deeper.

Meta hasn’t provided any info or confirmation at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta’s Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta's Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

YouTube Shorts and Meta’s Reels are both making
headway in the intensely competitive video shorts sector.  

During Alphabet’s Q4 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Sundar Pichai reported that YouTube Shorts has surpassed 50 billion
daily views. That’s up from the 30 billion reported in Q1 2022.

However, it still …



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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular content format, providing on-demand, topical material covering virtually any subject that you can think of.

Indeed, according to estimates, over 130 million people will listen to podcasts monthly in the US this year, which could also provide significant opportunities for marketers to tap into this captive audience, and reach them with relevant ads and offers.

If you’re considering getting into podcasting or podcast advertising, this will help. The team from Spiralytics have put together a collection of podcast consumption stats and notes, which could help guide your thinking around the format.

Check out the full infographic below.

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