Twitter reports earnings amid Elon Musk’s takeover bid

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Elon Musk buys Twitter. Will the purchase pay off?

Twitter’s earnings provided some clues on Thursday, with the company reporting that the number of daily active users – which has grown slowly – had grown to 229 million.

Revenue in the first quarter rose to $ 1.20 billion, which was lower than analysts’ estimates, according to a Bloomberg collection.

The results moved its stock slightly higher in pre-market trading, reducing losses earlier in the week, signaling that investors were in doubt about Musk’s purchase of the $ 44 billion social media platform. The company refused to issue a financial forecast citing the pending sale.

“Given Elon Musk’s pending acquisition of Twitter, we will not provide any forward-looking guidance and we withdraw all previously stated goals and prospects,” the company said in a statement.

Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter representative for activism for new shareholders

With the board’s decision Monday to sell the company to Musk for $ 54.20 per share, Twitter is paving a new path. As the owner, Musk will have unique power over a very influential platform that shapes public opinion about politics, industries and cultural movements around the world.

In the days leading up to the agreement, Musk declared himself an “absolute freedom of speech”, arguing against what he considers to be overly aggressive moderation practices for content. Tesla’s CEO has viewed Twitter as a “de facto city square” and crucial to a well-functioning democracy.

If the acquisition is completed, Musk will have significant influence in deciding what kind of speech qualifies as acceptable at a time when there is widespread disagreement about the role of social media in society. He will have to decide where a company with millions of users draws the line between freedom of speech and remedying the damage in the real world that results from speaking on its platform.

Perhaps his highest-profile decision will be whether he will allow former President Donald Trump to return to the post after the company banned him after the January 6 riots in the US capital.

Twitter’s workforce is concerned about Elon Musk’s ownership

Musk’s views on free speech, as well as his leadership style, are already raising eyebrows among employees of the San Francisco-based company.

On Wednesday, he tweeted a meme to his more than 86 million followers with the face of Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, who seemed to suggest that the company’s decisions are influenced by a “left-wing bias”. The tweet came hours after he criticized a 2020 political decision Gadde made, in response to an earlier tweet from a political podcast host who called her the company’s “top censorship advocate.”

Gadde and Musk did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Musk’s attitudes toward moderating social media content put him relatively at odds with current Twitter leadership, which has taken some of the most aggressive steps to punish political leaders who violate the company’s terms of service.

Many privates are also concerned. Employees peppered Twitter’s management Monday with questions about how Musk’s ownership could change the company, according to a record of the call received by The Washington Post. Twitter employees asked about everything from the possibility of layoffs to whether the company will continue to make money on advertising. The leaders offered insurance but few direct answers, saying business would continue as normal until the deal goes through within three to six months.

Elon Musk enters into deal to buy Twitter for $ 44 billion

Prior to the deal, Twitter had just experienced a change of leadership when CEO Parag Agrawal, who spent four years as chief technology officer, succeeded Jack Dorsey as CEO. Dorsey had also served as CEO of both Twitter and online payment firm Square, and has signaled his support for Musk’s acquisition.

Musk takes over a company that faces steep challenges in terms of its business model and performance. Investors have pressured Twitter to move faster by pushing new products out, increasing their revenue and user base. After activist investor Elliott Management took a stake in the company in 2020, Twitter set itself several ambitious goals, including reaching 315 million daily active users and doubling its annual income to $ 7.5 billion in 2023.

Twitter has invested in new products such as subscription services for high-volume users and its audio chatroom feature Twitter Spaces, which was designed to compete with the upstart Clubhouse. Musk has already indicated that he believes changes can be made to Twitter.

Twitter’s stock is falling due to doubts about Musk’s deal

More generally, Apple’s new restrictions on how apps collect information about iPhone users for targeted advertising have negatively impacted social media companies like Facebook and Snapchat. Last year, Apple began requiring all apps to have users’ explicit permission to track their activity across the Internet – a request that many users reject.

The company is also facing economic challenges from the war in Ukraine. Twitter along with Facebook and Google suspended their activities in Russia while the war raged on. Earlier this week, after a disappointing first quarter, Google executives said its digital advertising business was also hurt because advertisers withdrew on their spending in Europe.

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