Given Twitter’s mammoth image problem, it’s no surprise that the social giant is parting ways with its chief of communications Gabriel Stricker.
Trying to exit on a positive note, Stricker tweeted: “Thank you @Twitter for an extraordinary ride. It continues to be much more than a company. #movement”
Twitter on Thursday framed the ouster as a broader strategic shift. “It continues to be essential that we show the world the value of Twitter,” the company said in its official statement. “Communications is a key component of that, and to help build toward a stronger future, we are looking now to shift our communications strategy and direction.”
Twitter’s problems -- which recently took down CEO Dick Costolo -- go beyond matters of communication.
As a business, Twitter’s problems are easily quantifiable. In late April, the company reported first-quarter revenue of $436 million. While it represented a 74% increase year-over-year, the figure was lower than analysts’ estimates of about $457 million.
Costolo blamed the disappointing earnings on “lower-than-expected contribution from some of our newer direct-response [ad] products.” Worse yet, he said the company expected the problems to persist for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Yet, analysts say improving its image is essential to Twitter’s future.
“I don’t think it’s accurate to say there is anything ailing Twitter, unless you believe that the product should be ubiquitous, which I don’t,” Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group, recently told Social Media & Marketing Daily.
From the moment Twitter went public, “what investors generally failed to understand about the company -- and perhaps what management failed to fully communicate -- was that Twitter was and remains a venture-stage enterprise,” Wieser explained in a recent note. “It just happens to be traded publicly.”