As #RIPTwitter Trends, Musk Boasts: ‘We Just Hit Another All-Time High in Twitter Usage lol’

As #RIPTwitter Trends, Musk Boasts: ‘We Just Hit Another All-Time High in Twitter Usage lol’

Is Elon Musk fiddling while Twitter burns?

On Thursday, hundreds of Twitter employees quit the company, per the New York Times. The mass resignation came after Musk, the mega-billionaire new owner of Twitter, demanded that staffers agree to an “extremely hardcore” work culture, meaning “working long hours at high intensity” — or take three months severance pay. He had set a 5 p.m. ET deadline Thursday for Twitter workers to decide whether they were staying or going. The ultimatum came after he pink-slipped half of the company’s 7,500-person workforce two weeks ago.

Per multiple reports, Twitter’s remaining employees were informed Thursday that the company was disabling employee badge access to its offices until Monday, Nov. 21. Entire teams have disappeared, including the engineering group that maintains Twitter’s “core system libraries that every engineer at the company uses,” the Verge reported, quoting an anonymous ex-employee who said, “You cannot run Twitter without this team.”

Amid the chaos at Twitter, users have grown concerned that the end is nigh for the social network. On Thursday evening, the hashtag #RIPTwitter was the No. 1 trending topic in the U.S. (while No. 2 was “Elon,” followed by “Tumblr” and “Mastodon,” a funky Twitter-like service that many self-imposed Twitter exiles have flocked to).

Is Musk distressed that his pricey $44 billion purchase may be in an irreversible meltdown? On his own Twitter account, he was all sang-froid, jokes and memes.

“And … we just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage lol,” the tech mogul tweeted late Thursday. Earlier, Musk had tweeted, “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”

For now, there don’t appear to be serious external signs that Twitter is in imminent danger of shutting down. As of this writing, the Twitter API Status page indicated “all systems operational” and third-party uptime-monitoring service Downdetector showed a relatively minor number of error reports from users.

At least one Silicon Valley veteran believes the fears that Twitter will go belly-up over the major employee exodus are overblown. Bill Gurley, general partner at venture-capital firm Benchmark (and an early investor in Twitter), wrote on Twitter, “One of the reasons companies routinely do 3 layoffs instead of one is they are almost all afraid to ‘cut too much.’ They fear ‘hitting bone.’ But they VASTLY underestimate how resilient companies actually are. Companies endure.”

Gurley continued, “This is also why everyone rooting for Twitter to ‘functionally fail’ are going to be disappointed. The company had 1,000 employees in 2012 and had 200 [million monthly active users]. And the systems are way better now. If they go back to that count they will survive. You are NOT seeing the ‘fail whale.’”

Musk replied to Gurley’s comments by writing, “Don’t wanna jinx it, but there’s a chance we can keep Twitter alive” — along with a meme from “Dumb and Dumber”:

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