For years, Twitter remained very much. One of its most memorable product updates was in 2017 when it doubled the number of characters that could fit into a tweet.
But in recent months, the company has signaled an itch for change, with plans for an audio chat service, a platform for newspaper writers, short-lived content and new moderation tools to get people more engaged on their conversations. Control.
On Thursday, Twitter announced a step further, announcing ambitious plans to expand with new membership options and communities for specific interests.
In a recent interview, Twitter’s consumer product head Kevon Beypore said, “The perception of Twitter is also changing like a novel concept.” “It is still far from achieving its potential, despite how much influence and value it has in the world.”
Twitter’s heart, launched in 2006, is still a tweet. But the company wants to immediately attract more users – far more users – and impress skeptical investors, while not diluting its service with the massive features that come after it.
Although Twitter was at the center of last year’s presidential election and wanted to continue an outside influence in political and media circles, young social media partners such as Tickcock, Snapchat and Clubhouse have grown far more rapidly.
Snapchat now has 265 million daily active users, more than Twitter’s 192 million. Tiktok, which became widely used in the United States in 2018 and does not regularly publish usage statistics, said it was about to drop last fall 50 million daily active US users. And 11 months old Club house There are 10 million users.
Over the next three years, Twitter wants to increase its number of daily active users by at least 64 percent, to 315 million; The speed at which it debuts new facilities for the public; In an event for industry analysts and investors, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey doubled his annual revenue on Thursday.
Twitter officials and employees say it is overdue. “It comes down to three criticisms: We are slow, we are not innovative and we are not confident,” Mr. Dorsey said.
Mr. Dorsey has pushed for the company in recent years Expand your mandate Beyond the 280-character conversation and host wide discussion.
But Twitter has long opposed the change. The leadership of the company’s product development team changed regularly, and small changes were regularly made by Twitter Made fun of by its users. After commanding product development in 2018, Mr. Beypore often joked that he, like the product leaders before him, could end up on the chopping block.
Last year, Elliott Management, a hedge fund, quietly acquired a 4 percent stake in the company and tried again Take out Mr. Dorsey, Arguing that he was not focused enough on creating innovative new products on Twitter as he also oversees financial company Square.
Twitter made an agreement Elliot Management To retain Mr. Dorsey. But the episode jolted the company into a takeover race. It launched a mobile advertising company, a social video app, a podcasting company, a design firm and a newsletter provider.
In an interview earlier this month, Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer Ned Sehgal said, “We have bought about 20 companies worth hundreds of million dollars over the years.” “I think our pace of M&A is in line with the pace of innovation within the company. We are moving fast.”
Twitter has also added a number of features, including stories called “fleets”, in which moderation tools help limit users who can call their tweets and live audio chats a space.
It also revamped its network, which was created in the early days of Twitter, before modern cloud-computing services became widely available. The company is also experimenting with subscription products like newsletters, which will help creators earn money on Twitter.
“Twitter is making changes right now: There are a lot of different things that Twitter wants to try,” said Esther Crawford, a senior product manager on Twitter. Ms. Crawford co-founded the social video app Squad, Which Twitter achieved in December. “People are really in this moment of excitement around the experiment we’re doing.”
On Thursday, Twitter teased new features like community groups and “super follow”, which would allow users to subscribe to exclusive content from other tweeters. The company also said that it would plan to develop engineering teams in areas such as India and Africa.
Some of Twitter’s latest features are not available to all users, so their impact is difficult to determine. But the company’s audience is growing. Twitter said it added more daily active users in January, up from the previous four January average. And Twitter’s stock is up over the years, and more than 100 percent from a year ago.
Last week, several Twitter designers put up a space to debate how the app should look. About 30 users heard that, before the epidemic, a brainstorming session could take place in a conference room at Twitter’s headquarters. On Wednesday, a group of Twitter engineers responsible for building the company’s Android app held another open meeting.
“When you work in public, you work fast because you are accountable to the people you’re interacting with,” Ms. Crawford said.
But some analysts suspect that all of Twitter’s uses will be contested.
Jessica Liu, a senior analyst at Forrester, said in an interview earlier this month, “They try all of this experimentation and it seems like very small pieces that don’t necessarily have a large harmonized app experience or social media experience Please reduce it. ” . “I just want to understand from their senior leadership what is the long-term vision for Twitter?”