Hello, reader. How are you? I’m Diamond Naga Siu and I’m back to reality after a data reporting bootcamp in Missouri. Big thanks to Dave Smith’s guest appearance + my editors Matt Weinberger and Jake Swearingen for filling in while I was out learning.
Although I haven’t found a place to live in San Diego yet, I will say this much: I want the glowing Twitter bird as a housewarming gift (it’s only $22,500!). The HQ auction started on Tuesday, and it’s one of many strategies Chief Twit Elon Musk appears to be using to raise money.
It is likely part of a race to the end of January – when his first interest payment is due. Musk borrowed more than $13 billion to buy Twitter. And if he doesn’t make the first repayment, the entire company may have to file for bankruptcy.
Now let’s dive into today’s technology news.
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1. $44 billion for Twitter — go once, go twice, sold. Jk, Musk already bought it. But a 6 foot. The @ symbol, office chairs, a pizza oven and more are still for sale from the Twitter San Francisco headquarters.
- The online auction lasts until 10.00 PT Wednesday 18 January. Although an auction house representative has previously denied that the sale was a way for Twitter to recoup its losses, every penny seems to count for Musk.
- Musk is also reportedly considering auctioning off dormant Twitter handles and has already cut fertility benefits — the same ones he used to conceive most of his 10 famous children. Mostly funky, however, Musk reportedly cut maintenance staff at the New York offices, resulting in what staff described as a smelly, cockroach-infested workplace.
- Several big-dollar items already have bids over $10,000, including a semi-automatic espresso machine and the glowing Twitter logo.
See what else is on my Twitter HQ shopping list here.
In other news:
2. Hinge looks at highly motivated singles. The dating app is testing a new subscription model for “highly motivated daters”. For what can cost $50-$60 per month — as much as $720 per year — users can get more tailored matches and get likes to appear faster than non-premium suites. Read on if you are interested in finding love.
3. Microsoft layoffs, part II. The company’s hiring freeze was extended. The offers are cut as much as 30%. And employees are preparing for more layoffs. This is the bleak outlook that a Microsoft insider painted for my colleague Ashley Stewart.
4. Tweetbot is the last straw for some Twitter users. Twitter blocked popular third-party tools like Tweetbot and Twitterrific from working on the social media platform. One user who quits with rage said he doesn’t want to be “subject to the whims of a man-child CEO.” More from the angry Twitter users here.
5. Literally billions to solve climate change. Investors have tens of billions of dollars to throw at climate change. They have their eyes on green solutions such as how to reduce the impacts of commercial shipping. These are the other climate solutions investors are keen to shower money on.
6. Can the four-day working week help companies? More than 30 companies in six countries participated in the largest four-day working week experiment to date. The results were overwhelmingly positive. Employee happiness flourished, revenues grew and productivity increased. Editors, read this. If you are not my editors, you can also read it here.
7. Amazon Prime is past its prime. 2022 was the first year in which Amazon Prime US membership declined, according to new data. These investments suggest that the company’s massive investments in video streaming to attract new subscribers are not paying off. More about the declining membership here.
8. Zillennials (hey, that’s me) are the hottest demographic. We grew up online. Many still live with their parents. And we have tons of disposable income. This is why marketers come for people born from 1990 to 2000.
Odds and ends:
9. Corvette, Corvette, jump in an electric jet by jet. Welcome aboard the first ever electric Corvette. Insider’s car lover Tim Levin got an early ride in this all-wheel drive, which hits 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and boasts 655 horsepower. Get behind the wheel with us here.
10. Russia wants to buy China’s aircraft carriers. Russia’s outstanding aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is in really bad shape. Instead of fixing it, the country wants to buy back a carrier that it sold to China 25 years ago. Let’s go behind the scenes of this “shady” shipping deal.
What we’re looking at today:
Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email [email protected] or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.