Jack Dorsey is still certain that he’s the solution to Twitter’s woes, he just hasn’t had enough time.
The 50% of Jack Dorsey’s workday given to Twitter hasn’t been enough to salve the troubled social network’s wounds. Twitter’s stock has tanked, and the platform is brimming with examples of censorship, favoritism, and sloppy management. A previous high of $69 stock price is now shuffling around at a pitiable $14, but Dorsey feels that what the platform really needs is more time.
Time hasn’t been particularly kind so far, with no significant sign of turning the network around in what was supposed to be a temporary measure to allow Dorsey to right the ship while Twitter sought a new captain. While he divides his time between the mobile payment provider Square and one of the most influential social media platforms in the world, only one of the two seems to be reaping any benefits.
On Tuesday, Twitter announced some changes to the way it treats the 140-character limit in hopes of rising above an unprecedented year-long user plateau. You’ll no longer have to “dot reply” to have a tweet shown on your feed, and replies won’t count the name of the person to whom you’re speaking into your character limit. Attached media also won’t cut into that 140, and you’ll be able to retweet yourself if you want people to remember that timely cat gif reaction you tweeted two years ago. These are basic quality of life improvements, but not the sort that will turn the heads of people that aren’t already using the service.
The following day, @Jack received approval to donate one third of his Twitter stock to company employees. It’s a clear attempt to boost internal morale, despite the fact that the stock is worth less than half of what would have sold for before Twitter began its steep decline in popularity and user confidence.
Meanwhile, Twitter has lost two more senior executives. Katie Stanton’s recent replacement Nathan Hubbard is already giving up, only a few months after stepping in to try and take over as head of media and commerce. Head of business development Jana Messerschmidt is also making for the lifeboats. Hubbard will be replaced by Ali Jafari, who — like Dorsey himself — will divide his time between Twitter’s Amplify video ads, Hubbard’s position, and even fill in for Messerschmidt in the meantime.
When the BBC’s Dave Lee asked about the possibility of a Twitter sale, Jack Dorsey replied in every possible way but no. The non-answers about a focus on “building [Twitter’s] service” and making it “amazing” will likely do as little to reassure investors, as the employees and general users watching a part-time CEO ride the once-successful platform into the ground.
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