Four things Jack Dorsey's done to try and turnaround Twitter... so far

 
Lynsey Barber
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Jack Dorsey has been making changes... but are they good enough? (Source: Getty)

Nine months after re-joining the flock, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is under mounting pressure to revive its fortunes. While Wall Street awaits the latest numbers, here’s a reminder of what Dorsey’s been up to...

1. Wielded the axe

Dorsey wasn’t afraid to wield the axe when it came to staff numbers, cutting up to eight per cent of the workforce in order to regroup. That has led to some senior departures over the course of the past few months, however, as many a business guru might suggest, you can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs.

Whether Dorsey has managed to follow through with those promises to reduce staff numbers is debatable, however. As of February, its headcount had increased. Some might argue that having the right people in the right place is more important than headcount.

2. Ramped up the board

Several new additions to the Twitter board have been made in recent months, notably adding a greater diversity to the team. The additions are: British entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox; Hugh Johnston, finance chief of PepsiCo; Bret Taylor, former Facebook technology chief; Debra Lee, chairman and chief executive of BET.

3. Focused on technology

Does Twitter want to become a broadcaster? Well, sort of. It sees Facebook’s huge success with Live video and wants a piece of the action. As ever, this is more of a focus on professional media (despite owning Twitter and Vine) and the push into live streaming has come from picking up the rights to show major league sports highlights.

Read more: Why companies like Twitter are paying top dollar for AI startups

This means Twitter needs to do some serious work on its live streaming technology, something which it tested out with Wimbledon coverage earlier this month.

It’s all hotting up in the world of artificial intelligence, and tech companies are in a race to nail it. Twitter go a piece of that in terms of tech and talent with the acquisition of British startup Magic Pony earlier this year.

4. The gift of gifs and new features

Dorsey smashed the convention of the 140 character limit… sort of. The world did think he was going to totally break it with an increase to a whopping 10,000 characters, but luckily for Twitter fans who value the short sharp takes on what’s going on, this did not come to pass. Instead the use of images and links will no longer count toward the limit, giving users a few crucial extra letters.

Other additions include the Connect Tab, designed to suggest who to follow to users who might not otherwise be familiar with how to find people, and let's not forget the controversial change from chronological timelines.

Read more: Here's how you can watch the Wimbledon final live on Twitter

Fun additional features that cheered existing users are the addition of ever popular - whether in real life or on other platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook - stickers, while the joy of using gifs was made much simpler.

Meanwhile, there have been several new additions and tweaks to its all-important advertsing products - after all, that's where its revenue comes from.

And something he hasn’t done…

Despite promises to clampdown on trolls and hate speech, the platform has been plagued by high-profile and headline-grabbing incidents that do not help it when appealing to new users. Whether the platform merely reflects reality or not is debatable, but Twitter is widely seen as the one ultimately responsible for making it a less murky and more welcoming public space.

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