5 Reasons Why Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Resigned
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was facing the heat for some time. After Twitter went public in 2013, there was a lot of pressure on him to turn the service into something that could rival Facebook in terms of business potential and revenue. But quarter after quarter, Twitter’s results disappointed investors.
Today’s news shows that the situation finally reached the breaking point. Here are the five reasons why Costolo decided to gave up the position of Twitter CEO.
1- Weak growth in numbers: Twitter, despite all the buzz it creates, pales in front of Facebook in terms of number of users. Facebook has over a billion active users. Twitter, meanwhile, has just little over 300 million active users.Worse, Twitter finds it difficult to add numbers.
Even Instagram seems to have outpaced Twitter when it comes to acquiring new users. The Twitter management under Dick Costolo just couldn’t find a way to grow numbers at a pace that can assuage concerns of investors.
2- No clear message to users: When it comes to user interface and Twitter experience, there is a lot of confusion. Does Twitter support 3rd party apps or not? Does Twitter want to stick to its 140-character limit for each tweet or does it want to give people a bit more flexibility in how they share their messages? Does Twitter want to work with developers or does it want to go solo? There is no clarity on any of these positions. In the last few years Twitter has taken a number contradictory steps that have added to confusion.
3- No clear business model: Monetising Twitter is difficult because of its nature. The messages are short, its users incredibly finicky and seemingly there is not much scope for advertising.
Twitter has tried a few solutions to monetise its platform but it has not been successful so far. The revenue figures remain dismal, especially considering the mindshare Twitter has and the kind of buzz it creates.
4- Cloudy future: Twitter has been called many things. It has been called a micro-blogging service and it has been called a social network. But actually no one is sure of it. Unlike Facebook, which is clearly a social networking site, Twitter feels and works differently.
In fact, there is an indication that Twitter likes to see itself as a media company and not really as a social network. That said, it has been a failure of Twitter management so far to clearly spell out its agenda and tell people what sort of service it is. It is possible that the new CEO may give Twitter an identity of its own and help it prepare a plan that it could work on future.
5- Missed opportunities: At a time when messaging is booming — think WhatsApp — Twitter failed to evolve its excellent direct messaging (DM) tool into something that people could love and use. Even after all these years, Twitter’s DM tool is frustrating to use. Then there is the search bit. Once Twitter had a partnership with Google that would give it wide exposure because Google showed real-time tweets in its search listings. But then Twitter reportedly walked out of it. Instead, it tied up with Microsoft’s Bing but that (obviously) didn’t work out all that well. A few years later, Twitter and Google are again working together but the momentum is gone.