More changes for Twitter users as service tries to grow
NEW YORK » Twitter users are bound to see changes as the beleaguered service favored by journalists, celebrities, politicians and cranks tries to broaden its appeal and attract advertisers.
That’s whether it gets a new owner or not.
On Thursday, Twitter announced one immediate change: It’s shutting down its once-pioneering video-sharing app Vine, which has been eclipsed by the likes of Snapchat and Instagram.
What else might be in the works? For now, think tons of small tweaks rather than a 180-degree turn. In a conference call discussing the San Francisco-company’s quarterly earnings, an analyst asked CEO Jack Dorsey if there were any plans for big, revolutionary product changes.
“We’ve been making hundreds of small changes as quickly as we can,” Dorsey’s responded, adding that users are showing that the “changes are working.”
For now, it’s looking like Twitter will stay an independent company, despite months of rumors to the contrary. But a new owner could still swoop in, and depending on who it is, could clean up Twitter and curb some of the nastiness that’s become synonymous with it. Or perhaps a new owner would just show more ads. Or let it languish while it mines the best of what Twitter now has into its existing products and services.
All of this is speculation, of course, and there might not even be a new owner. Twitter’s stock has plunged after rumored bidders are, well, rumored to be no longer interested. On Thursday, the company announced that it would cut 9 percent of its workforce globally as its revenue growth slowed.
While its adjusted earnings beat Wall Street expectations, it reported a loss of almost $103 million before one-time charges and costs are removed.
A new parent — whether that’s Google (huh?), Salesforce (who?) or Disney (hmm...) — could inject fresh life into a 10-year-old company that’s never turned a profit and remains confounding to many people. Of course, none of these potential suitors have acknowledged interest in Twitter, let alone their plans for it. Even if Twitter stays independent, drastic changes to its service might just be what Twitter needs to be competitive with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
The Twitter symbol appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on July 27. Twitter, seemingly unable to find a buyer and losing money, is cutting about 9 percent of its employees worldwide. The company also announced third-quarter results Thursday.