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“Twitter's ubiquitous news feed has not been monetized enough”

Twitter boss and co-founder Jack Dorsey in New Delhi in November 2018. Anushree Fadnavis / REUTERS

Profits and losses. Paul Singer struck again, this time at Twitter. The formidable boss of the hedge fund Elliott Management has taken about 5% of the Californian company for 1 billion dollars (906 million euros) and wants to get rid of the co-founder, Jack Dorsey (address @jack), to relaunch a social network to results far below its potential. He criticizes him for sharing his time with his online payment company Square and for wanting to live six months a year in Africa to develop start-ups, reveal several American media.

Read also Between Donald Trump and the boss of Twitter, a dialogue of the deaf

Wall Street would not be dissatisfied with the final departure of a boss-guru – follower of meditation and daily fasting – already sidelined from his “house” in 2008, before returning there as CEO in 2015: the action appreciated by almost 8%, Friday, February 28, during electronic exchanges after the close. Created in 2006, Twitter only made an annual profit in 2018. Its diversification, particularly in mobile applications for sharing short videos, was a failure. The firm is worth $ 26 billion, when ByteDance, the Chinese group that created the TikTok app, is estimated to be three more.

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Twitter especially suffers from the comparison with Facebook, the world's largest social network, with its 2.5 billion monthly users, which weighs $ 463 billion on the stock market. Since Mr. Dorsey's return, Mark Zuckerberg's company stock has gained 120%; that of Twitter lost 6.5%. Unacceptable for activist Singer, who has already shaken the leaders of AT&T, eBay, Pernod Ricard and Japanese SoftBank. He will nominate four candidates for the board of directors in May at the general shareholders' meeting. One more than the number of seats to be filled, in case one more seat becomes available.

Twitter has not been inactive in innovations, notes Tim Culpan, in a Bloomberg Opinion column, but the ubiquitous news feed – through which Donald Trump communicates urbi et orbi – has not been sufficiently monetized. 2020 promises to be hectic, between the Covid-19 epidemic, the Tokyo Olympics and the US presidential election.

Claiming a full-time CEO is not a strategy. Unless you find a boss who can offer new services, and above all to develop them and make them live over time. Like Sheryl Sandberg, patron of Facebook operations, reachable on her twitter account @sherylsandberg.

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