Pedestrians walk in front of Twitter Inc.’s headquarters in San Francisco, California.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
In a bid to cut costs following Elon Musk’s chaotic $44 billion takeover of Twitter, the social media company has stopped paying rent, according to a New York Times report.
Twitter has not paid rent for its global offices or headquarters in San Francisco for weeks, the report said, as Musk’s team attempted to renegotiate the terms of the company’s lease. As a result, Twitter has received complaints from real estate firms like Shorenstein, which owns the Twitter buildings in San Francisco.
Shorenstein and Musk representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Twitter no longer has a communications department.
Musk said Twitter suffered a “massive drop in revenue” in the days following its $44 billion acquisition of the company. Without providing numbers or evidence, he tweeted that the drop in sales was the result of activist groups pressuring advertisers.
Although many companies have paused advertising on Twitter, some like big advertising giants Apple and Amazon have resumed spending on the platform.
Musk has also overhauled Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue, in hopes of generating new revenue for the company. The service launched Monday after Musk pulled and delayed the launch in November.
Twitter Blue costs $8 per month for web users and $11 per month for iOS users who purchase it through Apple’s App Store. The $3 price difference for iOS reflects Musk’s recent complaints about Apple’s 30 percent cut of all digital sales made through apps.
Subscribers with a verified phone number will receive a blue tick once their account has been reviewed and approved, Twitter said in a tweet on Saturday. Blue users can also edit tweets and get early access to new features. The company says Blue subscribers will see fewer ads “soon,” have the ability to post longer videos, and will appear at the top of replies and mentions.
Musk was a vocal critic of Twitter’s previous system, which granted scrutiny to high-profile users such as politicians, executives, members of the press, and organizations to signal their legitimacy. He said the new verification system will be “the great leveler” and “give people power”.