Twitter employees are not the only ones ditching the platform as users flock to a decentralized alternative.
Since taking control of the microblogging service in late October, Elon Musk has been shaking the tree on Twitter. His most recent action caused office closures and a staff exodus.
Musk gave Twitter employees an ultimatum earlier this week, telling them to “work long hours at great intensity” or vacate their desks by Thursday, Nov. 17. The company momentarily closed its offices as hundreds of employees walked out as a result of a significant proportion of them choosing the second option, which is believed to contain three months’ worth of severance money, according to sources.
Additionally, Twitter stated that all badge access would be temporarily suspended until Monday, Nov. 21, and urged personnel to “avoid disclosing secret company information on social media, with the press, or elsewhere.”
180 people were surveyed using the business app Blind, and 42% responded, “Taking exit option, I’m free!” according to Reuters on November 18. In a different survey, 50% of participants predicted that 50% of the workforce would depart.
Users have been looking for alternatives, so it’s not just workers who are leaving Twitter in Musk’s wake. Mastodon is one that has recently gained attention and has witnessed a spike in new registrations.
A federation of independently managed, networked machines running open-source software makes up the decentralized social network. Mastodon announced on Nov. 12 that it has gained over a million new users since the Twitter transaction was finalized. Twitter had lost the same amount of users since Musk’s acquisition, according to a Nov. 3 MIT analysis.
The decentralized social media network Bluesky Social, which intends to give users ownership over their data and will feature portable user accounts and access to “an open market of algorithms,” was also introduced by the former CEO Jack Dorsey in October.
Dorsey hopes that his network, which runs on Bitcoin, would entice users away from Web2 social media, which is centralized and full of spam and scams. Since Musk stated this week that he wanted someone else to lead Twitter, Dorsey has already declined to accept the role. After learning of the employee exodus, Elon Musk bemoaned the difficulties of running a social media platform:
In a different tweet, Musk stated that he was “not overly worried” because “the best people are remaining” in response to queries posed by Dave Portnoy, the creator of the popular culture blog Barstool Sports.