Where’s Jack Dorsey? Must be at Square today.
CREDIT: Getty Images
The San Francisco tech company managed less than a 1 percent year-over-year growth on revenue, and it added just 2 million new monthly active users in a three month period — none of which came from the United States. The results were, in a word, pitiful, sending Twitter’s share price tumbling more than 10 percent. Worse still is the excuse CEO Jack Dorsey offered on the company’s earnings call.
“2016 was a transformative year for us. Transformations are difficult, and this one was especially challenging,” Dorsey said. “While we may not be meeting everyone’s growth expectations, there’s one thing that continues to grow and outpace our peers: Twitter’s influence and impact. You don’t go a day without hearing about Twitter.”
Dorsey is right. The world hears about Twitter every day as a footnote in every story that revolves around President Trump. If that’s what Dorsey is hanging his hat on, investors are right to panic. It’s as though Dorsey does not understand just how fragile of a situation his company is in. Trump is irreplaceable; Twitter is not. On a whim, President Trump could decide to take his outrageous comments to Facebook and post them there or broadcast them live. Trump could take the Kylie Jenner approach and meet his followers on Snapchat via 10-second videos. Or he could simply turn to Gab, the Austin-based social service popular among the alt-right that literally does everything Twitter can but arguably better (300-character limits for starters).
“Twitter has done little in this report to show that it’s anything other than a sinking ship, and its lower share price will surely spur another round of rumored acquisitions,” said Clement Thibault, senior analyst at Investing.com, the global financial platform.
Despite being on the job for less than two years — one, if you factor in the fact that he splits his time between running Twitter and Square — the heat is on for Dorsey. Investors and analysts are tired of his job straddle, and many are calling on him to pick one of the companies and stick with it.
“It’s really now time for Dorsey to make a decision,” said Tom Taulli, analyst and writer at InvestorPlace.com. “Either he wants to devote full-time to Twitter or not. The issues for the company can’t be solved on a part-time basis. They are just too serious. Innovation has been lacking, as the company has been woefully behind in capitalizing on megatrends like chat and video.”