How Twitter plans to add its next 100 million users

How Twitter plans to add its next 100 million users

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Twitter has an tremendous goal: the institution wants to adhd another 100 cardinal regular users by the extremity of 2023 — a maturation of astir 50 percent from wherever it is today. To bash that, Twitter is going to request to adhd users astatine a acold faster gait than it has successful caller years, launching and iterating connected caller products and getting users to prosecute with the app much regularly.

To that end, the institution has continued to shake up its enactment and structure aft appointing a caller CEO, Parag Agrawal, successful November. On Thursday, the institution announced its latest changes, appointing 3 caller user merchandise leaders nether the unit’s wide manager, Kayvon Beykpour: Jay Sullivan, VP of user product, Arnaud Weber, VP of user merchandise engineering, and Anita Butler, caput of user design.

Among their goals is fixing an age-old occupation with Twitter: the information that astir radical travel to the work and don’t post. Anita Butler, caput of user design, puts it bluntly: “We don’t person occupation getting radical to motion up for Twitter. What we person occupation with is retaining those customers.”

The Verge spoke with the 3 leaders, who unneurotic acceptable the wide absorption of however Twitter works for users and developers, astir their apical priorities and challenges arsenic the squad tries to deed its assertive maturation targets.

Restructuring to vessel faster

Based connected my conversations with Twitter employees implicit the years, the company’s struggles to germinate haven’t been for a deficiency of caller ideas, but alternatively interior disfunction. After Jack Dorsey returned arsenic a part-time CEO successful 2015, Twitter became mostly governed by committee, with executives controlling their ain fiefdoms. Features would regularly languish successful improvement oregon ne'er spot the airy of day.

So it was telling erstwhile the archetypal happening Agrawal did arsenic the caller CEO was reorganize the enforcement team astir 3 halfway divisions: user product, gross product, and the halfway exertion that underpins everything Twitter builds. The operation is meant to empower divisions with their ain teams spanning disciplines similar plan and engineering.

Twitter’s caller merchandise chiefs indicated that determination hasn’t needfully been a displacement successful strategy nether Agrawal, but determination has been a displacement successful however things get done. “Under Parag’s leadership, and helium was precise nonstop astir this, our intent and our ngo arsenic the speech furniture [of the internet] hasn’t changed,” says Sullivan, who present leads the user merchandise teams nether Beykpour.

Instead, Agrawal’s power is being felt successful however products are developed, according to Weber, Twitter’s caller person of user engineering. “We are becoming much and much data-driven,” helium says. “I deliberation Parag brings a taste alteration wherever fundamentally we are pragmatic. We look astatine metrics, we bash experiments, we summation the size of the experiments, et cetera.”

Building stickier Twitter features

According to Sullivan, a apical merchandise precedence nether Agrawal is “making Twitter much applicable to each idiosyncratic person.” Twitter has historically relied connected users manually pursuing accounts, but the institution has precocious been investing successful instrumentality learning to aboveground tweets it thinks users volition privation to see.

A tentpole diagnostic of this attack is called Topics, which shows related tweets astir themes similar a sports crippled oregon TV show. “I deliberation 1 cardinal portion of the occupation is that we person this astonishing contented connected Twitter, which is often real-time and often precise engaging, and we request to find ways to amusement that contented to these caller users erstwhile we recognize what they attraction about,” says Weber.

To code its engagement problem, the squad has been investigating a diagnostic called Communities, which acts similar a premix of Facebook Groups and Reddit for tweeting with others who stock circumstantial interests.

“One of the things I perceive from radical is, ‘Hey, I work a batch of stuff. I’m not needfully comfy tweeting oregon don’t cognize erstwhile oregon wherefore I should tweet. I would consciousness amended if I was tweeting to a smaller assemblage of people,’” says Sullivan. “And truthful we request to marque the merchandise much participatory and approachable, some for individuals and further on the spectrum, for radical who presumption themselves arsenic existent creators.”

The biggest Twitter merchandise stake successful caller representation is Spaces, its audio chat diagnostic that was built successful effect to the accelerated emergence of Clubhouse during pandemic lockdowns. The institution hasn’t shared wide usage stats for Spaces yet, but Sullivan says that, successful the past mates of weeks, determination person been aggregate Spaces astir Russia’s penetration of Ukraine with implicit 100,000 listeners.

What Twitter’s ongoing trial of its much ocular Explore leafage looks like. Image: Twitter

Twitter’s merchandise leaders admit that the work needs its ain reply to the emergence of TikTok, particularly fixed however the institution squandered its aboriginal accidental with the shuttering of Vine. “We decidedly cognize that sharing and connection is moving much to visual, whether it’s imagery oregon video oregon different forms,” says Butler. She points to a caller nationalist trial that turns Twitter’s Explore leafage into a near-fullscreen provender of video similar TikTok, saying the anticipation is to “potentially person it beryllium much lighthearted contented oregon quality contented depending connected what we cognize astir you.”

Opportunities successful decentralization

Given Jack Dorsey’s obsession with Bitcoin, Twitter’s involvement successful crypto wasn’t a surprise. But adjacent present that helium has near to absorption connected Block, Twitter is continuing to experimentation with crypto features and put successful Bluesky, an ambitious task that aims to alteration Twitter from a centralized institution to thing similar an email app moving atop an unfastened protocol others tin physique on.

Bluesky, which started arsenic the brainchild of Dorsey and then-CTO Agrawal, is simply a bigger, longer effort to rebuild the architecture Twitter runs on. “Imagine if you had fundamentally a separation betwixt applications and the halfway information underneath those applications,” Sullivan says. There volition beryllium “different choices astatine that furniture astir everything from interface to contented moderation and things similar that.”

A batch astir Bluesky is undecided and murky, since the entity was conscionable stood up with Dorsey connected its board and Twitter arsenic a cardinal capitalist to money its development. What Bluesky yet means for Twitter’s concern is besides unclear. The question of “how bash we make that environment, astatine slightest from the UI oregon the lawsuit experience, is really truly fascinating and interesting.”

On a much contiguous timeline, crypto inactive factors into the ways Twitter is reasoning astir allowing users to inducement creators. “For each the radical who consciousness similar they’re adding value, they should beryllium capable to straight link with the radical who person worth and get paid,” Sullivan says, pointing to the caller summation of a extremity jar diagnostic for profiles to judge Bitcoin and Ethereum. “It could beryllium done crypto, but it could beryllium done different mechanisms.”

Sullivan doesn’t spot crypto arsenic a singular solution, though. “I deliberation arsenic agelong arsenic you’re solving a lawsuit occupation successful a precise easy-to-use way, past I’m agnostic astir which things usage crypto and which things don’t,” helium says. “I deliberation the manufacture has made excessively overmuch of Web2 versus Web3. We ever physique connected the shoulders of the erstwhile things, and we should ever enactment the lawsuit archetypal connected that.”

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