In a move that should surprise exactly no one, Twitter’s board has named company co-founder Jack Dorsey the permanent CEO of Twitter. He has served as interim CEO since Dick Costolo got the boot back in June.
Dorsey is faced with the problem of trying to grow Twitter’s slow if not exactly stagnant user base—or at least make more money from the users it has. Back in June, the company had 316 million monthly active users, which is not nothing, but represented growth of only 8 million MAU’s quarter-over-quarter, and perhaps more grimly, growth of only 15-percent year-over-year. Meanwhile social media mammoth Facebook announced recently announced that it had recorded 1 billion unique users in a single day. Slow user growth indicates that the company’s potential fortunes might not be as significant as once predicted.
What does this mean if you are amongst the very small subset of internet users who use Twitter everyday? Expect some pretty aggressive attempts to monetize your usage, many of which will interrupt the flow that made Twitter interesting to begin with. Note that Dorsey is also the CEO of Square, a service that exits solely as a means of more efficiently exchanging money.
Over the last few years the company has been slowly undermining the simplicity that made Twitter fun and useful in the first place. Many more changes are afoot, and they’ll be even more noticeable than the very annoying hashflags.
The company is reportedly getting ready to ditch its 140 character limit for tweets, which it’s been in the process of doing for a while. And more recently, Twitter took a step towards bringing even more buy buttons right to tweets.
As Twitter gets more annoying, it runs the risk of alienating those core users. But business is business, and if you ain’t growing your users, you gotta figure out how to siphon more cash out of the users you do have. It’s a delicate problem. Be a good shepherd Mr. Dorsey.