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Ads and aliens – but few real details in Musk speech to Twitter

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Elon Musk has addressed Twitter employees for the first time, projecting a need for “rationalisation of headcount” but offering few other details about his $US44 billion ($63 billion) takeover of the social media company.

Mr Musk appeared via video call 10 minutes late to what turned out to be a freewheeling question and answer session moderated by a Twitter executive, in which Mr Musk mused about the existence of aliens and other space civilisations and his view that Twitter should help “civilisation and consciousness”.

He told Twitter staff he wants to raise the service’s user numbers to at least a billion people and said advertising would remain important for the company, despite previously saying he believes Twitter should not serve ads, according to audio of the meeting heard by Reuters.

“I think advertising is very important for Twitter,” Musk said.

“I’m not against advertising. I would probably talk to the advertisers and say, like, ‘hey, let’s just make sure the ads are as entertaining as possible.'”

Twitter employees took to an internal Slack channel in droves during the session, posting memes and complaining that Musk was not providing useful answers on his vision for the business and employee compensation.

-AAP