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In the early hours of Monday morning, Elon Musk’s cousin and fixer, James Musk, contacted Twitter staff to request help with a “high urgency” problem: the chief executive’s missives were not being seen by enough people.

The bizarre incident, reported by technology industry newsletter Platformer, showed one face of Elon Musk. Here was the billionaire at his egotistical peak, making the social media network’s engineers boost how many people see his thought bubbles or face being fired.

Elon Musk’s tweets were failing to reach a large enough audience.Credit:Getty

Musk was unapologetic as users reported their feeds being flooded with his tweets, posting a disconcerting image of one woman, labelled “Elon’s tweets”, force-feeding another woman, labelled “Twitter”, with a bottle of milk.

But there is another side to Musk’s tenure atop Twitter, one that has been enthusiastically promoted by his boosters but overlooked by most because of the string of controversies surrounding the billionaire.

The company has rolled out a raft of features. Its paid Twitter Blue membership program is going live in more countries, with coveted badges for those who sign up. It has introduced longer form tweets so users do not have to take screenshots of lengthy statements. Companies can use an “affiliates” tab to link together all their accounts.

All this has been done with less than half of the staff that Twitter had when Musk took over the company last year for $US44 billion.

Twitter had its highest engagement ever in the first quarter of this year, according to Musk.

Twitter had its highest engagement ever in the first quarter of this year, according to Musk.Credit:AP

That last figure matters particularly because Twitter went more or less nowhere on the markets in its decade as a public company while its competitors such as Facebook owner Meta and YouTube owner Alphabet soared. In the quarters before it went private Twitter was losing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Only with lower costs — which also includes closing offices and data centres — does Musk have any hope of turning the business around.


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#faces #Musk #fighting #control #Twitter

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