In an aggressive effort to woo potential investors and Wall Street support, Twitter CEO Dick Costelo announced major changes that the popular website will undergo in the next few years. Speaking at the company’s first annual analysts day, Costelo unveiled four new changes to the software and an ambitious long-term financial plan set to make the website that much more popular with new users and the financial sector. The two major goals of the company are to increase the number of active users and decrease difficulty of use. Kevin Weil, VP of Product, acknowledged Twitter’s need to sell new users on using the website with an easier sign-up process. “We are creating an entire new framework to help new and struggling users,” he said.
The goal of these new changes is to increase audience engagement and meet growth projections over the next ten years. With over 500 million tweets sent each day and 284 million active users, Costelo believes that adding these major changes to Twitter has the potential to woo investors and convince them the website is more than a niche-product. After a less than stellar IPO debut early in 2014, the company has not quite reached Facebook’s level of 1.3 billion active users, but the unveiled updates hope for an acceleration in pace. Over time, management executives expect the company to increase its revenue up to $448 million per quarter, with $14 billion in ten years. Despite stocks falling 33 percent since its public availability in 2014, Costelo remains optimistic.
To help ease new users into getting the most benefit from Twitter, some of the upcoming changes include an instant timeline to quickly locate interesting accounts to follow that match interests. One of the most common complaints from new users is the inability to quickly find people to follow who match their interests. Producing a timeline of relevant tweets for new accounts would allow new users to quickly become acclimated to the Twitter environment without feeling confused or overwhelmed. Another change to the website will tackle the prevalent fear of missing out, a feature of Twitter’s fast-paced style. The website will soon allow users to receive updates on conversations and trending topics they missed while logged out. Other features include the ability to move private conversations to direct messaging and enhanced video recording and editing capabilities.
Based on these updates, Costelo presented a hypothetical situation in which he projected users to grow to two billion by the year 2020. So far, investors have been disappointed by the slow user growth. The new major changes that Twitter’s website will continue to undergo have the potential to woo investors again. To critiques of the number of monthly users, Costelo asked them to also consider the 500 million users who visit the website without logging in, and the 185 billion users Twitter is able to reach through tweets embedded in other websites. Despite failing to live up to projected expectations for the IPO, the Twitter CEO has a clear vision in which Twitter will one day be the best way to connect to the world. Since the analysts day, Twitter stocks have jumped eight percent. Investors appear to like what they have heard.
By Didi Anofienem
Photo By: Rosaura Ochoa – Flickr License