Elon ‘Back to the Office’ Musk Called in Remotely to First X All-Hands

Elon ‘Back to the Office’ Musk Called in Remotely to First X All-Hands

There is very little surprising about Elon Musk’s methods of running X, the social media platform known as Twitter, seemingly into the ground. A year after Musk officially took over the platform, both he and recently installed X CEO Linda Yaccarino held a joint all-hands Thursday to address some of the changes at the company and suggested that X might be a new financial platform.

Neither Musk himself nor Yaccarino showed up, according to a report from Fortune Thursday. The two executives dialed in remotely from Austin and New York City, respectively, citing an anonymous source within the company. Musk and Yaccarino skipping out on an in-person appearance during the all-hands comes after the former demanded employees return to office 40 hours per week last November, according to Insider, in one of his first sweeping changes as owner.

Musk says that future all-hands meetings would occur quarterly, with the next set to cover the platform’s new video calling feature, which Yaccarino tweeted about on Wednesday.

The meat and potatoes of Thursday’s meeting are about as surface-level as you can imagine, with the pair vaguely touting all of the wonderful new things coming to X. As reported by The Verge, Musk—who co-founded a predecessor to PayPal—told his employees that the platform was readying to release financial management and transaction features some time in the next year. That’s right, Musk wants to roll out features that are enticing enough to get users to switch their bank provider from whatever FDIC-insured institution they rely on to X. The outlet reports that X is currently seeking money transmission licenses across the country.

“When I say payments, I actually mean someone’s entire financial life,” Musk said during the meeting, according to audio obtained by The Verge. “If it involves money. It’ll be on our platform. Money or securities or whatever. So, it’s not just like send $US20 to my friend. I’m talking about, like, you won’t need a bank account.”

Musk also voiced his own delusions of grandeur alongside Yaccarino regarding the next iteration of what the platform could be. Bloomberg reported that the owner and CEO listed YouTube and LinkedIn as future competitors for X. A YouTube competitor could be a welcome addition to the digital landscape—especially as the video-sharing website clamps down on ad-blockers—but X thus far is hardly a David to Google’s video veteran Goliath. Musk and Yaccarino also reportedly teased a newswire service called XWire that could compete with Cision’s PR Newswire.

While there are talks about big plans for what X could be, the reality of the matter is that a year post-takeover, the platform is struggling. Data from Sensor Tower indicates that in the year since October 2022, daily active mobile users on X fell approximately 15%. Its competitors such as YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook all saw growth, in contrast. SimilarWeb reported similar, languishing figures with global traffic to X via desktop down 14% year-over-year in September 2023 while mobile traffic languishes at 17.8% on iOS and Android combined in the U.S. during the same timeframe. At the same time, the banks that funded Musk’s purchase of Twitter are playing hot potato with the debt they still hold over one year later, with most readying to sell it at a $US2 billion loss.

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