Twit­ter cuts staff, kills off Vine app amid pres­sure to grow

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

NEW YORK:

Twit­ter, seem­ingly un­able to find a buyer and los­ing money, is cut­ting about 9 per­cent of its em­ploy­ees world­wide. It is also killing off Vine, a mo­bile video app where peo­ple share short video clips that play in a loop. While beloved by users and a pi­o­neer in its own right, Vine, which launched in 2013, never took off with the masses and has lost its luster as of late. Twit­ter has failed to keep pace with ri­vals Face­book, Snapchat and In­sta­gram and in re­cent months, ru­mors abounded that it would be ac­quired. In a con­fer­ence call with an­a­lysts on Thurs­day, CEO Jack Dorsey quickly brushed aside what he called “re­cent mar­ket spec­u­la­tion.” He said the com­pany is com­mit­ted to grow­ing longterm share­holder value, and that he doesn’t plan to com­ment “any fur­ther on this topic.”

Shares of Twit­ter, which have tum­bled 27 per­cent in the past month as pos­si­ble suit­ors have wan­dered away, rose 34 cents, or 2 per­cent, to $17.63 in af­ter­noon trad­ing on Thurs­day. The San Fran­cisco com­pany said it ex­pects to take $10 mil­lion to $20 mil­lion in charges as it lays off more than 300 of its 3,860 work­ers. “We have a clear plan, and we’re mak­ing the nec­es­sary changes to en­sure Twit­ter is po­si­tioned for long-term growth,” CEO Jack Dorsey said in a com­pany re­lease. Since the end of 2014, Twit­ter has lured 15 mil­lion monthly users to ex­pand its au­di­ence to 313 mil­lion peo­ple. In that same pe­riod, Face­book brought in 319 mil­lion users, ex­pand­ing its reach 1.7 bil­lion peo­ple.

Twit­ter’s pop­u­lar­ity

Twit­ter’s ser­vice is used heav­ily by celebri­ties, jour­nal­ists and politi­cians, giv­ing it an out­sized role in public dis­course. But it has strug­gled to ex­tend that ap­peal to a broader au­di­ence and has wres­tled un­com­fort­ably with bul­ly­ing on its site and racist posts. Twit­ter is plac­ing a big bet on live video, and re­cently landed a high-pro­file deal to show Na­tional Foot­ball League games over 10 Thurs­days.

—AP

NEW YORK: In this July 27, 2016, file photo, the Twit­ter sym­bol ap­pears above a trad­ing post on the floor of the New York Stock Ex­change.

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