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Elon Musk has addressed Twitter staff for the first time and outlined new details of his vision for the company, including plans to allow some staff to work from home.

Despite previously telling Tesla employees to leave the company if they do not want to spend 40 hours a week in the office, the billionaire told Twitter employees he was willing to make some exceptions.

He said the bias should be “strongly towards working in person, but if somebody is exceptional, then remote work can be okay”.

Twitter staff currently have relatively free reign to decide where they work and took to Slack to ask Musk about his views during a wide-ranging question-and-answer session moderated by a company executive.

Speaking about his plans for the social media giant after his $44bn (£36bn) takeover deal is completed, Musk told them he wants to grow the platform to one billion users – roughly four times its current user base – and said advertising is “very important” for the company.

He previously made comments saying he believes Twitter should not have adverts.

“I’m not against advertising,” he said.

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“I would probably talk to the advertisers and say, like, ‘hey, let’s just make sure the ads are as entertaining as possible.”

He mused about the existence of aliens and other space civilisations, saying Twitter should help “civilisation and consciousness”.

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During the session, Twitter staff posted memes and complained that Musk was not providing helpful answers on his plans for the business and employee compensation.

Musk indicated the potential for job losses, predicting a need for the “rationalisation of headcount”.

When he turned off his video at the end of the Q&A, his avatar appeared to be two hands in the shape of the number 69, which seemed to be a reference to a sexual position, according to a source.