Elon guts Twitter, Google shuts down Hangouts, and tech layoffs continue

Hey everyone – welcome back Review of the week, the newsletter where we round up TechCrunch’s most read stories from the past week. And wow, what a week it was.

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most read

Mass layoffs at Twitter: It was Elon’s first full week as head of Twitter since the $44 billion acquisition. Mass layoffs were rumored to be on the way—and, well, they have begun. After a painfully impersonal heads-up email was sent Thursday night, entire teams wake up to find that their access has been suddenly revoked. With reports suggesting the layoffs could affect up to half the company, Twitter employees have taken to referring to the whole thing as “the click” (à la Thanos). A class action an allegation has already been filed that Twitter is not following the proper legal processes here.

Layoffs everywhere: Meanwhile, news of layoffs in the tech industry continues to pour in. Lyft abandoned 13% of the workforce, Rae 14%, Opendoor cuts workforce by 18%, Chime split with 12%, and more. Meanwhile, Apple and Amazon are reported to have done so went into hiring freezes.

Google is killing Hangouts: We knew it was coming, but this week Google put the final nail in Hangouts’ coffin, shutting down the chat-focused web app (the Hangouts Android/iOS apps were shut down last year) in favor of Google Chat. Of course, given Google’s history with chat apps, I expect at least two more to be launched and/or shut down by the time I finish this newsletter.

Falcon Heavy is back in space: This week, SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time since 2019, finally moving forward on a mission that had been delayed (“due to payload readiness issues”) since late 2020.

Amazon is expanding its music service: “The company said it will now offer Prime subscribers a full music catalog of 100 million songs, instead of the previous more limited selection of just 2 million songs,” Sarah writes, “and will make available most of the best podcasts on its ad-free service.”

audio summary

What’s happening in TC podcast land this week? Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Own crew talked about the ever-evolving role of the venture capitalist, and our friend Melia Russell of Business Insider stopped by to tell us her recent story about how “investors are rewriting the books when it comes to their firms’ maternity leave policies.”
  • Amanda joined Darrell TC Podcast to discuss Elon’s ‘dubious plans’ to change the way Twitter ID verification works
  • The Chain reaction team dove into the growing list of issues that have come up for Bitcoin miners over the past few months.


Not a part of TechCrunch+ yet? Here’s what TC+ members read the most behind the paywall:

Pilot’s CEO knocks their $60 million Series C test: Posted in early 2021, this one blew up for some reason this week! Just a few weeks after raising a large Series C, Pilot CEO Waseem Daher sat down with Lucas Matney to break down what’s working for their pitch deck.

The most common pitch deck mistakes: Speaking of pitch decks, TC’s resident pitch expert Haje Jan Kamps has a list of mistakes he’s tired of seeing in decks after reviewing thousands from them.

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