Tag: Twitter

Executive Turmoil And Turnover At Twitter

Jack Dorsey

Mike Blake / Reuters

A tidal wave of turnover is coming to the top of Twitter, with a number of critical executives on the way out. In addition, two new board members are reportedly on the way in.

Twitter head of engineering Alex Roetter, product VP Kevin Weil, and head of media Katie Jacobs Stanton are all leaving the company. Following reports in Re/code, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the news. Jason Toff, the GM of the Twitter-owned Vine, is also leaving. This being Twitter, all parties tweeted the news.

Twitter did not respond to a BuzzFeed News inquiry, and referred instead to tweets by Dorsey.

In addition, two new board members will soon be appointed, according to a report in the New York Times.

The departures will likely make what has been a turbulent time for the company even more shaky. Twitter's shares have dropped over 22% since the start of 2016, and over 50% in the last year. The company is being pounded by Wall Street investors disappointed by its slow user growth.

The highest-profile Twitter project meant to spark that user growth is Moments, a tab containing curated stories — about news, sports and entertainment, etc. — made up of individual tweets. Moments, released last October, is a product shaped heavily by Weil and Stanton, and their departures don't speak highly of its performance to date.

Twitter is also expected to announce the hiring of a new chief marketing officer on Monday, according to Re/code.

BuzzFeed – Tech

Here’s The Data That Shows Why Twitter Switched To Hearts From Stars

Twitter is looking to settle the hearts vs. stars debate once and for all.

In a talk at the Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco this morning, Twitter Product SVP Kevin Weil shared data on the heart's performance vs. the star — aka: the favorite — that drove Twitter's decision to make the switch.

“It’s a change that’s been fantastic for the platform,” said Weil. “We see now 6% more hearts, 6% more likes on Twitter than we saw with favorites.” He also noted that new users tend to engage 9% more with this change.

Weil's remarks marked the first time Twitter shared data related to the switchover, which occurred last week to mixed reviews. After years of the star functioning as a de facto bookmarking tool, and a button you used to signal you were done with a conversation, Twitter switched over to hearts last week saying it wanted to “make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use.”

The data, released only a week into the change, should be approached with a dose of caution since the heart's novelty factor may be responsible for skewing the numbers. Still, the numbers at least initially back up the decision to make the move.

When Twitter introduced the heart last week, it was met with a firestorm of criticism from power users who felt the company was overlooking their needs in order to meet Wall Street demands. For those hoping for a reversal, this early data suggests the heart is here to stay.

BuzzFeed – Tech

It’s Getting Harder And Harder For Twitter To Find New Users

Twitter just isn't growing like it used to.

The social media company said on Tuesday that its number of monthly active users totaled 307 million in the third quarter of the year, excluding those who use the service through texting. While that may seem like a big number, it's only 8% more users than in the corresponding period a year earlier. Compared to the second quarter of this year, the number of users grew just 1%.

This 8% growth rate is slow, particularly in the eyes of Wall Street investors. In all of the quarters since Twitter went public in 2013, it hasn't reported a slower rate, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.

Employees of Japanese toy company Tomy dressed as Twitter birds during the company's Halloween Day event.

Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP / Getty Images

In important ways, Twitter exceeded analysts’ projections. The company reported $ 569 million of revenue for the quarter, beating the expectation of $ 560 million. And its profit, adjusted to exclude some expenses, came in at $ 67 million, or 10 cents a share, better than the expectation of 5 cents per share. Without those adjustments, the company made a $ 132 million loss.

But Twitter's struggles with growth are what investors have focused on in the last year, and its stock fell more than 12% in after-hours trading on Tuesday. Investors were also spooked by the company's disappointing forecast for its fourth-quarter performance.

As of the close of trading on Tuesday, Twitter stock is down 30% from the price it traded at after its first day as a public company in November 2013. On that first day, investors valued the then loss making company at almost $ 25 billion, betting that it would grow in the explosive manner familiar to those who have followed internet success stories like Facebook and Google. Instead, the company has struggled.

Just take a look at this chart. One almost gets the feeling that Twitter is a slowly deflating balloon. Each quarter, a little more air seeps out.

Users are the crucial ingredient in Twitter's business plan. More people using the service means more eyeballs viewing ads and other promotions, thus generating more revenue for Twitter.

Twitter is doing some things to try to attract more people. It recently introduced Moments, which lets people follow particular stories, and it's planning on running an ad during the World Series tonight.

But so far, Twitter hasn't been able to produce the kind of hockey-stick-shaped growth that investors love. It's not Facebook, a company that overcame an initial setback after its IPO by dramatically sharpening its focus on mobile devices.

Here's another version of the user growth chart, focusing on the United States. The big question for Twitter — and the fear keeping investors up at night — is whether user growth has simply begun to plateau.

BuzzFeed – Tech

Snoop Dogg On His Bid For Twitter CEO And Why He Got Into Tech (The Money)

I’m the CEO of Snoop Dogg, Says Snoop Dogg

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Snoop Dogg is making the rounds at New York's Advertising Week this week, promoting “Coach Snoop,” the forthcoming online video series he's creating in conjunction with AOL.

As Snoop took a break between announcing the show onstage at AOL's Future Front event, and performing at the event, he spoke with us on his bus outside the venue.

The interview, broadcast live on Periscope and embedded above, covered Snoop's interest in the CEO seat at Twitter, his attraction to tech (he has invested in multiple companies) and featured a freestyle rap that you can see in the tweet below.

Snoop was refreshingly straightforward in response to a number of questions. Especially one asking what drew him to tech. The answer: “Money.”


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BuzzFeed – Tech

Apple Gives App Store Games A Dedicated Twitter Feed

A precursor to the new game-friendly Apple TV expected next week?

Apple's iPhones and iPads have transformed the company into a mobile gaming giant. Now, with a new Apple TV due out later this year, the company is poised to bring games to the living room as well. In possible preparation for that move, Apple on Thursday debuted a new Twitter channel dedicated to games. Dubbed @AppStoreGames, the account promises a curated feed of Apple gaming selections “straight from our Games Editors.”

As BuzzFeed News first reported, Apple is expected to unveil its latest Apple TV on September 9 at a media event in San Francisco. And, as BuzzFeed News also reported, the device is expected to arrive at market with an App Store of its own as well as

Earlier this week, 9to5 Mac reported that the new Apple TV will have “deep support for gaming,” claiming it “will also support more complex, console-style Bluetooth game controllers.”

About 30% of Apple's iOS App Store downloads were for games in the last quarter of 2014, IDC and App Annie said in a report, and nearly 75% of spending in the App Store was for games.

BuzzFeed – Tech

A Highly Scientific And Sobering Study Of My Year On Twitter

This year on Twitter was more exhausting than the last, so I decided to take a hard look at my 2014 tweets, using cold, unyielding data to find out why.

Charlie Warzel/BuzzFeed

Almost one year ago I nuked my Twitter feed and unfollowed everyone. I'd spent six years obsessively following people, but it had become too much, even when it was slow. I used it as a chance to rebuild my feed deliberately from the ground up. I vowed that this time I would seriously begin taking into account things like gender and racial diversity, rather than seemingly following lots of people at random. It was a chance to understand what, if anything, I get out of this service to which I'm tethered for the better part of my workdays.

But did it work? I'm not entirely sure. I silenced a lot of noise and resolved to be better, but Twitter in 2014 for me was more exhausting than the year before it, with all the attendant outrage, micro-memes, and harassment that can make a day feel like a year and crush the most earnest of resolutions. I started wondering during the year: Was I holding up my end of the bargain? Was I just one part of or perhaps THE problem I had tried so hard to escape? I decided to take a deeper look at my year on Twitter and, using cold, unyielding data as my guide, see whether or not I actually turned a over a new leaf in 2014.

To do so, I enlisted the help of ThinkUp, a social media analytics service that tries to help users make sense out of their sprawling tweets and Facebook updates. I was hoping that by asking ThinkUp to analyze my feed and address specific questions, I could get some sense of just how the year went.

Part of what can make Twitter so tiring (and on occasion, kind of fun!) are the repetitive tropes and memes in which many heavy users and journalists (myself so very, very included here) get caught up. Back in October, The Toast's Mallory Ortberg rounded up a glossary of many of these overused phrases; just last week New York's Jessica Roy put together her own glossary of Twitter's most repeated “words, phrases, and inside jokes,” all of which were run through ThinkUp to see just how much I'm adding to the Twitter's migraine-inducing echo chamber. So here goes… In 2014:

I never tweeted the terms/phrases: “#tcot,” “ban men,” “is everything,” “wrote a thing,” or “#tbt.” Nor did I tweet any version of “can u not”, “not all men”/notallmen, the shruggie ¯_(ツ)_/¯ or “thirsty.” And none of my True Detective tweets were jokes about Season 2.

• My only actual use of “shade” was here.

• My only use of #shotsfired was ironic:

• My only use of “can't even” was valid and accurate and not in the twitter language context.

• I feel pretty OK about my use of “it's about ethics in…”

• My only use of “essential reading” was critique.

I DID, however (god help me):

• Tweet 40 times about something being “garbage.”

• Have 72 tweets that included an all caps “THIS.” And 18 that had some variation of “HERO.”

• Tweet some version of “if true” 16 times (as in, “whoa, if true” or “big if true”).

• Tweet 12 jokey “NSFW”s to things that were, decidedly, NOT NSFW.

• Tweet some version of the mansplain-y” “actually” 95 times this year, making me an official monster of a human being and a disgrace to my family name.

ACTUALLY, though, my only tweet that actually begins with “actually” is this:

(My replies to others, however, have a GOOD bit of “actually…” going on. I'm so sorry to the legions of adults, faculty, and concerned citizens who tried to teach me manners as a child.)

• I tweeted once about “personal news.”

• I had 56 “dangs” in 2014, as well as all kinds of folksy variations of the word, including “daaaaaaaaaaaanng” and “dangggg” and, well, you get it.

• I had only nine “hot takes,” which is sadly far fewer than the number of actual hot takes that I produced.

• I'm disappointed that I had only 31 instances of “never tweet,” which I plan to get tattooed on my person in 2015.


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BuzzFeed – Tech

Twitter Rolls Out A New Way To Report Harassment And Block Users

The new feature will be available to everyone in the next few weeks.

Screenshot via Twitter

Twitter is rolling out a new, easier way to report or block a Twitter account for harassment. The new feature, rolled out to a a few small groups of users, according to a company blog post, allows users to quickly select the option to block or report a user or a tweet and file a more descriptive complaint.

After selecting the option to file a report, a user can choose from a few issues to report including “The Tweet is annoying,” “This Tweet is spam,” or “The user is abusive.” But the person reporting a tweet or user does not necessarily have to be the subject of the harassment or abuse. Importantly, this new feature allows users who witness abuse to report it as well. Users can indicate who is being affected by the issue at hand right before specifying whether the account is being disrespectful, harassing the user, or threatening violence.

Additionally, Twitter users now have access to a page that lists the accounts that have been blocked. Accounts that have been blocked also no longer have access to the user's profile.

Once accounts or tweets are flagged or reported, Twitter will review them to determine whether the content violates Twitter's policies.

BuzzFeed – Tech

A Top Twitter Executive Just Had A Massive Direct Message Fail

It looks like Twitter’s finance chief Anthony Noto thought he was messaging another Twitter executive about buying a company. Anthony Weiner, a prominent victim of the DM Fail, was quick to step in and offer support.

Brian Ach / Getty Images

It seems Twitter's new chief financial officer hasn't gotten the hang of Twitter just yet.

Twitter CFO Anthony Noto committed a classic Twitter error by accidentally tweeting out a suggestion that Twitter should buy a company, in what looks like a classic case of DM Fail. Noto is one of Twitter's newest prize hires, and as a Goldman Sachs banker, helped take the company public.

Noto is, of course, not the first high-profile user to accidentally tweet out what would otherwise be a direct message. And not long after he made the faux pas, one of the best-known casualties of the DM fail stepped in to joke about it.


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BuzzFeed – Business