Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has finally stepped down as CEO after years of failures and underperformance. The long-awaited move gives the social media platform a chance to restore its footing, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
The company’s board of directors said on Monday (29-11-21) that Twitter veteran Parag Agrawal, who has been the company’s Chief Technology Officer since 2017, will take over as CEO immediately. Dorsey will stay on the board until the end of his tenure next year.
Twitter’s stock rose at first on news of Dorsey’s resignation but then fell when the market digested the fact that an internal candidate had been picked. Investors have every right to be worried. The depths of Twitter’s troubles will necessitate forceful leadership to right the ship, a tall order for an executive with extensive ties to the former government.
Twitter has had a challenging year. Dorsey talked a big game during the company’s analyst day in February, promising to “Double development velocity” of products and setting new long- term financial goals. However, following a string of setbacks, Wall Street has become skeptical about the company’s ability to deliver on its goals. User growth across the globe has been slow. The number of monetizable daily active users on social media app’s dropped in the June quarter compared to the previous three months. Despite the benefit of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Twitter did not add any new US users in the three months ending in September compared to the June quarter.
Meanwhile, the company’s new initiatives have had disappointing results so far. Twitter’s clone of Instagram and Snapchat Stories, Fleets, was shut down just months after it launched due to a lack of interest. It’s a much-anticipated Super Follows program, which allows users to charge a monthly fee for subscriber-only material, and its Twitter Blue paid membership service has gotten off to sluggish starts. It doesn’t help matters when your competitors are doing well. Even though its revenue is more than 40 times greater, Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, grew at a higher rate than Twitter in the most recent quarter.
It’s not just about the numbers. While it’s easy to dismiss Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta-verse goals, Facebook’s parent company is delivering the kind of potentially game-changing product vision that Twitter has lacked.
It’s probable that Agrawal has the ability to expand the platform beyond its core customers. To kick-start the process, he’ll have to overhaul the company’s product development method from the ground up.
- To begin, listen to users and prioritize improvements that they want, such as direct- messaging search, improved analytics, and a long-awaited tweet edit button. Twitter has chosen to disregard the cries of its most ardent supporters for whatever reason. It’s past time to fix
- Get the fundamentals of product execution right. Given that Communities is just more tweeting structured differently, I’m perplexed by issues with Communities – a potential new tool aimed to compete with Facebook The debuts of Fleets, a now-defunct Snap competitor, and Spaces, a live audio tool, were plagued by technical issues, giving
new customers a negative image of the service. Tips and the subscription service Blue are far from providing a best-in-class user experience. Twitter has to understand that effective product execution is a must to compete in social media and that a few big bets have a better chance of moving the needle than a steady supply of half-baked products.
- Make improvements to your short-form video strategy. The world is moving toward the TikTok-style short video format. The apps for YouTube and Instagram are being Despite its previous failures in the area with Vine, Twitter must find a way to participate.
Twitter’s main service hasn’t changed much in the last decade, save from modest incremental improvements. Agrawal now has the option to start over. If he makes the correct decisions, it might be the pivotal moment that investors have been waiting for.
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