1,200 More Employees Leave Twitter as the World Cup Nears

Twitter bleeds another 1,200 employees, all while one of its busiest weekends of the year looms on the horizon.
Adam Rowe

On Thursday, Twitter's employees passed a deadline set by new owner and CEO, Elon Musk: They would have to agree to work according to his shared vision.

Internal estimates show that around 1,200 employees opted for the other choice — three months of severance — and have now left a company that has already seen half its workforce quit or laid off in recent weeks.

Worse, Twitter is about to face one of its busiest weekends of the year, as the much-tweeted FIFA World Cup begins.

Is Twitter on the Edge?

Many Twitter users have predicted the platform's full-on collapse, though sporadic outages and security breaches seem more likely.

Twitter's own staff doesn't have faith in the company's future, either, according to a survey of more than 400 Twitter employees that found 89% of verified staff had no confidence in Elon Musk's leadership.

Twitter's traffic is higher than ever before, even while users add new accounts on replacement websites such as Mastadon or Tumblr. Granted, that higher traffic may not be a good sign.

Still, there's plenty of profit tied to the social media platform, even despite millions of dollars' worth of gun-shy advertisers leaving due to a rash of impersonations.

It seems likely that the platform will continue on in one form or another. Some cogent commenters hold the position that Musk's decisions are driven by an inaccurate information bubble that could presumably be popped at some point in the future.

But this weekend might reveal just how well the platform is currently performing.

The World Cup Starts on Sunday

One of the biggest events in the world kicks off in Qatar this Sunday: The FIFA World Cup. It's also one of the biggest events for Twitter, given the millions of fans who take to the service to express their minute-by-minute reactions to anything happening on the soccer field.

Twitter went through irregular outages back during a World Cup in June 2010, and that was without suffering a massive staff exodus in the weeks leading up to it. The extremely high traffic this weekend will be the company's first big test since the Musk takeover and may shape investors' expectations moving forward.

Just don't count on finding out the results of that test on the microblogging platform itself. Have we mentioned our tech headlines newsletter?

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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