Twitter CEO Elon Musk has reportedly considered selling user names on the platform to boost revenue as he looks for ways to make the company profitable following his multi-billion dollar acquisition of the company late last year.
A user name on Twitter is a series of characters following the “@” sign and is used to identify every account on the platform. For example, former President Donald Trump’s user name is @realDonaldTrump.
The New York Times reported that the company has held discussions for weeks about selling some user names that have value — those of well-known public figures and brands.
It’s not clear where Twitter currently stands on the plan, the report said, adding that it also was not clear if the plan would target all user names or those whose accounts are inactive.
Since Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the company back in October, the serial entrepreneur has cut roughly 75% of the workforce at the company, started selling blue verification badges to users willing to pay a monthly subscription fee, and has looked at other ways of boosting revenue for the company.
Employees at the social media platform no longer have access to commuter benefits or meal allowances, even though coffee and snacks will continue to be available in the office, according to an email seen by Platformer Managing Editor Zoe Schiffer.
Musk has made headlines for pivoting the culture of Twitter toward a rigorous focus he says is meant to improve the platform. The world’s second-richest man told remaining workers that they should expect “extremely hardcore” hours should they desire to stay at the company. He added that Twitter would become “much more engineering-driven,” implying a move away from a “design and product management” emphases.
Musk has started asking employees to pay for lunches, a benefit that had previously been free, according to a report from The New York Times published two months ago. He revealed that lunches had cost more than $400 “per lunch served” since “almost no one came to the office.”
When accused of lying about the figure by a former employee, Musk said that average occupancy was below 10% at the San Francisco office even as Twitter spent more than $13 million per year on food services for the headquarters. “There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast,” he said. “They don’t even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building.”
The social media company has also started selling kitchen equipment and furniture from the San Francisco office. Items for sale include La Marzocco espresso machines and Rotisol rotisserie ovens, as well as commercial blenders and grinders, refrigerators, grills and griddles, fryers, braising pans, and pizza ovens, according to a list posted by Heritage Global Partners, a company that conducts auctions for downsizing businesses.
Ben Zeisloft contributed to this report.