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Twitter warns employees that layoffs are happening Friday

Carlos Barria / reuters

Twitter will reportedly begin laying off workers on Friday, only a week after Elon Musk officially took control of the website. Around half of the company's staff members will lose their jobs, according to internal messages seen by The New York Times and The Washington Post. That's consistent with the previous reports that came out earlier this week.

Musk didn't waste much time in making personnel changes after taking over Twitter. His first act was to dismiss then-CEO Parag Agrawal and other members of the leadership team. Several other executives have left the company over the last week. In an email sent to staff members, Twitter said that it has to "go through the difficult process of reducing [its] global workforce on Friday" and that the move "is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company's success moving forward."

Twitter's offices will be closed on Friday, and all employees are asked to stay home and wait for an update regarding their fate. Those who get to keep their jobs will receive an email with the subject line "Your Role at Twitter" via their work emails. Twitter will contact people getting laid off through their personal emails with the next steps to take.

Since Twitter is now a privately held entity, it doesn't ostensibly have to answer to shareholders anymore. However, the company still needs to improve the bottom line. It's on the hook for roughly $1 billion a year in interest payments on the debt Musk saddled the company with when he bought it. In the three months to June 30th, Twitter posted a net loss of $270 million. So, it needs to make more money and/or reduce costs, and to do so pretty swiftly.

Some major advertisers are skittish about the new regime and Twitter is trying to diversify its sources of revenue. Musk plans to charge $8 per month for Twitter Blue, which verified users will need to pay for to retain their blue checkmark. The service will offer new features, according to Musk, with subscribers seeing fewer ads and the ability to include longer videos in tweets. Reports suggest the Twitter Blue may go up from $5 to $8 per month as soon as Monday. The company is also reportedly working on a plan to offer paid video posts, which it may use to monetize adult content.

Mariella Moon contributed to this report.