Twit­ter tweaks?

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - By David Pierson david.pierson@la­times.com Twit­ter: @dh­pier­son

In­vestor Chris Sacca ad­vo­cates big changes at the site to ex­pand its user base.

Out­spo­ken Twit­ter Inc. in­vestor Chris Sacca pub­lished a lengthy es­say on­line Wed­nes­day ad­vo­cat­ing big changes at the so­cial me­dia site to dramatically ex­pand its user base.

The nearly 8,500-word post ap­peared a day be­fore Twit­ter’s an­nual in­vestor meet­ing in San Fran­cisco on Thurs­day. Twit­ter is un­der grow­ing pres­sure to im­prove its stock per­for­mance, which has fallen from a high of $69 a share in Jan­uary 2014 to $37.74 early Thurs­day.

Sacca has made a for­tune in­vest­ing early in the likes of Twit­ter, Uber, Instagram and Kick­starter.

He said his es­say, ti­tled “What Twit­ter Can Be,” was not a “hit piece” and that Wall Street needed help un­der­stand­ing Twit­ter’s po­ten­tial.

“I be­lieve in Twit­ter. The com­pany it­self is im­prov­ing, not wors­en­ing. The stock mar­ket doesn’t get that be­cause Twit­ter has failed to tell its own story to in­vestors and users,” Sacca wrote.

Here’s a sam­ple of his thoughts:

What isn’t go­ing well at Twit­ter?

New user growth has stalled.

Al­most 1 bil­lion users have tried Twit­ter and not stuck around.

Di­rect re­sponse ad­ver­tis­ing has fallen short of hopes.

What is go­ing well at Twit­ter?

The pace of prod­uct devel­op­ment has ac­cel­er­ated dramatically.

Twit­ter has shown a will­ing­ness to take more risk in mak­ing changes to the core prod­uct.

Rev­enue is grow­ing at 74% year over year. (There is no public com­pany of that scale grow­ing any­where near as fast.)

Twit­ter is too hard to use, scary and feels lonely, Sacca said. He said his pri­mary wish was for Twit­ter to build its au­di­ence so it can show as many ads as pos­si­ble.

“I am a proud Twit­ter share­holder and Twit­ter user,” he wrote. “I want this com­pany to suc­ceed. I want the peo­ple who work at Twit­ter to win. I want this stock to be worth more. I own more of it than vir­tu­ally any­one work­ing at the com­pany.”

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