Product heads and engineering gurus are filing out of Twitter at an alarming rate. In response, Twitter is adding new board members to try to help navigate through these turbulent times, as Twitter has lost over half of its stock value in the last year.
Among the talent that is leaving the social media company were the head of media, Katie Jacobs Stanton, and the chief of product, Kevin Weil. The reason: sources close to the company say that the engineering head and chief of product are frustrated that Twitter has utterly failed to improve its site in order to continue to attract new users. The result? A slowdown in Twitter’s user growth. Sources who wished to remain anonymous said that Weil has been interviewing at other companies for the past few months in order to escape the sinking Twitter. Weil’s eventual replacement will be Twitter’s sixth product head in six years. Jason Toff, who was the head of Twitter’s video-sharing app, Vine, is also leaving the company.
— Jessica Banks (@buttaflyefct) January 25, 2016
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) January 25, 2016
As the above Tweet mentions, though the sources inside Twitter state that the departing executives were abandoning ship because of problems with Twitter, a report from Mashable says that a “major Twitter investor” says their departures were planned. According to the investor, all of the departing department heads were all allies of former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. Additionally, the investor said that the departing department heads were not held in the highest faith by current CEO Jack Dorsey.
What is Twitter doing as a result of the lost talent? For starters, they are hiring more board members, something Twitter has been looking to do ever since they made Omid Kordestani, a former Google executive, executive chairman late last year.
Twitter may also be making some drastic changes in the coming months. There has already been a slew of rumors that the social media company will do away with its traditional 140-character tweets for any message of up to 10,000 words. This, in itself, has caused a slew of uproar across the internet. Twitter purists maintain that the 140 character limit is what makes Twitter… well, Twitter. Others are happily embracing the possible change, saying that the only reason the 140-character Tweet limit was originally thought of to work within the maximum amount of characters that could at one-time be sent via a SMS text message.
What do we want? A higher character limit than only the 140 that Twitter currently allows each user for each tweet When do we want it? N
— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) January 23, 2016
During campaign season, I find myself cursing Twitter’s 140 character limit when I tweet, & thanking God for it when other people tweet…
— Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian) January 17, 2016
Proponents of the change say that expanding the character limit will change Twitter into a more Facebook-like platform. Of course, detractors say the exact same thing. However, their attitude is that Facebook already exists, so why try to copy it.
The dreaded “to/too” typo. Had to delete the tweet. Forget increasing the character limit @twitter, LET US EDIT!!!!!!!
— SFK (@stephenkruiser) January 21, 2016
Still others would like Twitter to simply enable an option to edit a Tweet after it’s posted.
Whether the tweet character expansion comes or not, it’s clear that something has to be done at Twitter. Losing 55 percent of its value in the last twelve months is clearly unacceptable, not only to company executives, but the company’s stockholders. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
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