Commentary

More Bad News For Twitter

Like clockwork, just when you think Twitter’s getting its act together is when news surfaces to show the depths of its dysfunction. Consider the events of the past few days:

Earlier in the week, CEO Jack Dorsey told BBC News: “We’re making progress.” At about the same time, Twitter announced plans to simplify tweets by no longer counting photos and links in its 140-character limit. The social giant seemed to be on a roll!

Now, of course, comes news that Twitter is losing its head of media and commerce, Nathan Hubbard, along with its head of business development, Jana Messerschmidt.

Making matter worse, Hubbard’s exit -- to go launch his own company -- comes just months after he replaced Katie Stanton.

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If you don’t recall, Stanton left in January -- along with Twitter’s SVP of engineering Alex Roetter, VP of human resources Skip Schipper, VP of global media Katie Stanton, SVP of product Kevin Weil, and Vine general manager Jason Toff.

Taking over for Hubbard is Ali Jafari, who most recently headed up Twitter’s Amplify ad business. 

In Dorsey’s defense, he has been able to turn around Twitter’s usership issues since returning to the company about one year ago.

During the first quarter of the year, Twitter boasted 310 million monthly active users -- up from 302 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Unfortunately, Twitter also reported profits of 15 cents per share on revenue of $595 million, during the period. While that beat The Street’s profit expectations, analysts were hoping for $608 million in revenue.

Worse yet, Twitter slashed its second-quarter revenue guidance to $590 million from $610 million -- nowhere near analyst expectations of $678 million.

The problem is that brands are failing to show up to the party, according to Adam Bain, chief operating officer at Twitter.

“Overall, brand spend didn’t grow as quickly as we expected,” Bain recently said of the first quarter.

Losing its head of media and commerce and head of business development isn’t going to help matters.

1 comment about "More Bad News For Twitter ".
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  1. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, May 27, 2016 at 2:40 p.m.

    Funny how we expect problems to be quickly solved by the magic CEO. Twitter faces serious structural problems that will take considerable time to solve. I don't know much about what Mr. Dorsey will end up being able to do. But on principal, we probably should be saying:


    1. He's pulled off an initial miracle with the user turn around.

    2. Most likely, the two executive exits are appropriate for trying to make the next step.

    3. It will take time to create a reason for "brands to show up".


    I appreciate, at least, that they aren't magically solving things - because that's usually a sign of executive management only creating the perception of company health.

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