Twitter faces World Cup pressure as hundreds of workers reject Musk and quit

  • Twitter usage is set to increase as the 2022 World Cup kicks off this weekend.
  • Hundreds of employees have just left the company, rejecting Musk’s “hardcore” vision for Twitter.
  • Supporting a major event, like the World Cup, will come with challenges for skeleton staff.

Twitter users are expected to flood the platform with the kick-off to the World Cup this weekend as hundreds of staff resigned en masse, rejecting new owner Elon Musk’s demands for the company.

The World Cup is the most prestigious football tournament held every four years and is watched by billions of people around the world. The competition has put Twitter to the test in the past – and this year seems no different.

According to a press release from Twitter Marketing a year ago, “78.2% of people on Twitter said they regularly watch, follow or are interested in football.”

The same statement states that conversations on Twitter about football increased by 42% between 2019 and 2021.

By March, the number of tweets about the upcoming World Cup had already increased by 425% month-on-month, a statement from Twitter Marketing UK said.

At the time of release, there had already been 41 million tweets about football in the UK in 2022 alone, a 10% increase on the previous year.

In 2014, the World Cup set the record for tweets per minute, doubling the current average of around 350,000 tweets per minute.

And in 2018, Twitter vaunted of his “massive role” in World Cup fandom that year and live matches, which fueled 115 billion tweet views with the World Cup hashtag. Accusations of corruption and human rights abuses by the host of this year’s event, Qatar, could spark even more discussion on Twitter than usual.

But as hundreds of Twitter employees leave the company, the remaining staff will face major challenges in keeping the app running smoothly during the event.

Bird app’s new CEO Elon Musk has triggered massive layoffs from Nov. 3, cutting the company’s roster of employees by at least 3,200.

On Wednesday, Musk sent an email giving remaining Twitter employees an ultimatum: Stay with the company and embrace Musk’s “extremely hardcore” outlook or quit with three months severance.

A Google form used to choose to stay or leave showed that less than half of the company’s remaining 4,000 employees chose to stay in their jobs and work for Musk’s self-proclaimed “Twitter 2.0”.

Twitter is already facing pressure on its app, users have complained about “love” tweets that don’t stick, notifications does not show up and feeds refreshing consistently or incorrectly, causing a significant increase in visits to Twitter’s help page, according to Similarweb data provided to Insider.

Supporting a major event, like the World Cup, will come with challenges for skeleton staff, including workers responsible for maintaining the essential services that keep the venue running.

There are fewer employees to fill 24-hour shifts for critical services, a worker told Insider. As a result, critical service employees are now frantically trying to train people in other parts of the business to help ease the workload.

Another Twitter employee said “outages of some kind” during the World Cup were all but certain, while another noted, “really, we don’t know what can crash until things get better. really collapse”. A former employee, who left before Musk’s takeover, said the loss of critical staff meant “the infrastructure will be less scalable to meet the demands of increased site usage.”

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