In an effort to cut costs following Elon Musk’s chaotic $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the social media company has stopped paying rent, according to a report from The New York Times. Representatives for Shorenstein and Musk 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 his $44 billion acquisition of the company. Without providing any figures or evidence, he claimed in a tweet that the revenue drop was the result of activist groups putting pressure on advertisers.
Twitter has not paid rent for its global offices or San Francisco headquarters in weeks, the report said, as Musk’s team has been trying to renegotiate the terms of the company’s lease. As a result, Twitter has received complaints from real estate firms like Shorenstein, which owns Twitter’s San Francisco buildings.
Though many companies did pause advertising on Twitter, some major advertising giants like Apple and Amazon have resumed spending on the platform. Musk has also revamped Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue, with the hope of generating fresh revenue for the company. The service launched Monday after Musk pulled and delayed the launch in November.
Subscribers with a verified phone number will receive a blue checkmark once their account is reviewed and approved, Twitter said in a tweet Saturday. Blue users will also be able to edit tweets and get early access to new features. The company says Blue subscribers will “soon” see fewer ads, have the option to post longer videos and will appear at the top of replies and mentions.
Twitter Blue costs $8 a month for web users and $11 a month for iOS users who purchase it through Apple‘s App Store. The $3 iOS price difference reflects Musk’s recent gripes about Apple’s 30% cut of all digital sales made through apps.
Musk has been a vocal critic of Twitter’s previous system, which granted verification to notable users like 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 “power to the people.“