Twitter takeover bid could cloud social media hiring

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offered to buy Twitter for $43 billion. If his efforts were successful, it wouldn’t drastically change the microblogging giant; the ripples would likely spread through the rest of the social media sphere, impacting Meta (er, Facebook) and other businesses in unexpected ways.

For example, if Musk takes over the company and institutes changes that make it a great place to work, with breakthrough innovations, it could attract much-needed talent from Meta, TikTok and other companies. But if he pulls off the acquisition and Twitter erodes or collapses, it could push more free talent into the market.

Whatever happens with Twitter, social media companies are potentially facing big changes in the months and years to come. Meta is essentially betting the company on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps and services; he’s also the subject of antitrust investigations that could force him to part ways or make significant changes to Instagram, WhatsApp and other properties. Meanwhile, Snap continues to build a following (predictions of its death were premature), TikTok’s growth has executives at other companies sweating, and Reddit remains a force.

With all that in mind, here’s what many social media giants pay their junior software engineers:

As you can see, the pay is about equal across all of these companies, although your ultimate bottom line largely depends on how the stock performs over the medium to long term. As with many tech companies, stocks make up a larger percentage of your overall compensation as you move up the ladder: once you’re a senior engineer, a rapid rise in stock price can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

At Twitter, senior software engineers (SWEs) can earn $729,000 and up, and stock payouts can reach $400,000. Under new Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who took the helm at the end of 2021 following the departure of co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, the company has become more focused on integrating cutting-edge technologies such as intelligence (AI) and machine learning in its technology stack; specializing in these skills could potentially increase your earnings even more. But if Musk succeeds in his efforts, who knows how things will change?

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