|From: Sr K||9/20/2021 10:57:29 AM|
|Twitter to Pay $809.5 Million to Settle Securities Suit|
Suit alleged social-media company misled investors about user engagement in 2015
Twitter said it expects to record a charge for the settlement in the third quarter.PHOTO: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS
By Colin Kellaher
Sept. 20, 2021 10:23 am ET
Twitter Inc. said it agreed to pay more than $800 million to settle a consolidated class-action securities lawsuit alleging the social-media company deliberately misled investors about user engagement in 2015.
The San Francisco company on Monday said the proposed settlement would resolve all claims against Twitter and the other named defendants without any admission, concession or finding of any fault, liability or wrongdoing.
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Sr K||10/7/2021 9:12:23 AM|
|Twitter Sells Mobile Ad Firm MoPub to AppLovin for $1.05 Billion|
Social-media network says sale will help it pursue its goal of doubling revenue
Twitter said the transaction will allow it to better focus on its own platform.PHOTO: STEPHEN LAM/REUTERS
Oct. 6, 2021 6:46 pm ET
Twitter Inc. is selling mobile ad firm MoPub to AppLovin Corp. for $1.05 billion in cash, the company said Wednesday.
MoPub allows app publishers to make money by selling ad slots on their apps, and helps advertisers reach certain audiences on mobile apps, among other offerings.
Twitter purchased the company in 2013 in a deal estimated at the time to be worth more than $350 million.
MoPub says it now helps 45,000 apps source advertising via its exchange. It generated about $188 million in revenue in 2020, according to Twitter.
Twitter said the transaction will allow it to better focus on its own platform, citing offerings such as its performance-based advertising products and e-commerce initiatives.
“The sale of MoPub positions us to concentrate more of our efforts on the massive potential for ads on our website and in our apps,” Ned Segal, Twitter’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. He reiterated a previously announced goal to at least double Twitter’s total annual revenue to at least $7.5 billion in 2023 from $3.7 billion in 2020.
AppLovin, which makes tools for developers of apps to improve marketing and revenue and runs its own mobile-game apps, went public earlier this year. The company’s stock was up more than 9% in after-hours trading following the announcement of the acquisition. Twitter’s stock rose about 2%.
Adding MoPub will help AppLovin assemble more demand and competition for publishers’ ad impressions, AppLovin CEO Adam Foroughi said in a blog post.
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Glenn Petersen||10/11/2021 8:13:56 PM|
|Twitter's tool for removing unwanted followers arrives for web usersThe safety-focused feature is rolling out to everyone.|
October 11th, 2021
All Twitter users can now remove a follower without having to block them. The company started testing this option last month, and starting today, everyone will have access to it. To quietly stop someone from seeing your tweets in their feed, go to the Followers tab on your profile, click the three-dot menu next to the user in question and select the "Remove this follower" option.
This is part of Twitter's efforts to reduce harassment on the platform. Blocking someone you don't want to follow you could lead to retaliation from that person via their allies or their secondary accounts after they find out. Cutting them in this fashion and muting them will mean they're none the wiser that they're out of the loop.
This method won't prevent someone you boot from your followers list from seeing your public tweets. Only blocking them or making your account private will do that. Elsewhere, Twitter is testing a Safety Mode, which automatically blocks accounts that use “potentially harmful language.” It's also looking into more ways to filter and limit replies, so it seems the company is making its anti-harassment efforts a bigger priority.
Twitter's tool for removing unwanted followers arrives for web users | Engadget
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Glenn Petersen||10/26/2021 7:44:53 PM|
|Twitter shares rise after company says Apple privacy changes had less of an impact than expected on third-quarter results|
PUBLISHED TUE, OCT 26 20214:07 PM EDT
UPDATED 6 MIN AGO
Salvador Rodriguez @SAL19
-- Twitter reported revenue growth of 37% in the third quarter to $1.284 billion.
-- The company said Apple’s privacy changes to iOS 14 had less of an impact than expected.
-- Twitter said fourth-quarter revenue will be $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion, while analysts were predicting sales for the quarter of $1.58 billion.
Twitter’s stock price was up about 3% on Tuesday after the company reported its third-quarter earnings, meeting analysts’ expectations for revenue and user growth.
The company said it was taking a one-time litigation-related net charge of $766 million related to an $809.5 million settlement the company announced in September for allegedly misleading investors about user growth.
Here’s what Twitter reported versus Wall Street’s estimates:
Earnings: 18 cents per share, adjusted vs. 15 cents as expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Revenue: $1.284 billion vs. $1.285 billion as expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Monetizable daily active users (mDAUs): 211 million vs. 211.9 million as expected by analysts polled by StreetAccount.
Because of the legal settlement, Twitter reported a net loss of $537 million, compared to a profit of $29 million a year ago.
Revenue increased 37% in the quarter from a year earlier. Twitter said the impact of Apple’s iOS privacy change was less than expected in the period, and will be modest in the fourth quarter. Snap and Facebook both cited Apple’s new iOS 14 privacy features as the main reason for business disruption in the latest quarter.
Twitter ’s ad revenue rose more than 41% to $1.14 billion, with total ad engagements increasing 6% from a year earlier.
Twitter provided additional detail on the sale of MoPub to AppLovin for $1.05 billion, which was announced earlier this month and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Twitter said it doesn’t expect to recoup the full revenue loss of $200 million and $250 million next year from the deal.
The company said it’s expecting revenue, including the MoPub business, of $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter. Analysts were projecting sales of $1.58 billion on average, according to Refinitiv.
Unlike Snap and Facebook, demand for Twitter’s ads have not been impacted by global supply chain issues, Twitter CFO Ned Segal said in a call with analysts. This is because more than half of Twitter’s ad revenue in 2021 are associated with services and digital goods, Segal said.
Twitter’s total number of monetizable daily users grew by 5 million from the second quarter to 211 million. The user base was up nearly 13% from a year ago.
Twitter (TWTR) earnings Q3 2021 (cnbc.com)
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Glenn Petersen||11/9/2021 6:22:06 PM|
|Twitter will now let you pay to undo tweets and read ad-free news in the US|
And in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as part of Twitter Blue
By Jay Peters @jaypeters
Nov 9, 2021, 11:30am EST
Twitter Blue subscribers can undo tweets before they’re sent. Image: Twitter
Twitter Blue, the company’s subscription service, is adding new features while expanding to new countries and platforms. The service first launched in June in Canada and Australia on iOS, but starting Tuesday, Twitter Blue will be available in the US and New Zealand and on Android and the web.
Perhaps the most useful Twitter Blue feature is an undo button, which lets you recall tweets before they send. (I can think of a few times that would have saved me from an embarrassing typo.) Other features in the initial launch included a reader mode for tweet threads, bookmarks folders, the ability to theme your Twitter app and app icon, and, as of last month, a Labs program that lets subscribers try out some new Twitter features early.
But as part of Tuesday’s expansion, Twitter Blue is about to get a lot more useful for people who love reading and finding news on Twitter. One feature lets people view ad-free articles on participating websites and gives a portion of revenue from Twitter Blue subscriptions to those sites. If you’re a Twitter Blue subscriber, when you come across a link from a publisher offering ad-free articles, you’ll see an “Ad-free with Twitter Blue” label under the headline.
Here’s the label Twitter Blue subscribers will see for an ad-free article. Image: Twitter
The feature builds off the Washington Post, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, The Hollywood Reporter, and, full disclosure, The Verge. The company says it hopes to include publications from outside the US in the future. And Twitter says it doesn’t change the proportion of money it gives to publishers if you subscribe to Twitter Blue from iOS or Android, which take a cut of digital purchases.
Twitter Blue’s ad-free articles feature doesn’t let you pass paywalls, Twitter says, so depending on the publication, you might not be able to read some articles even if you’re a Twitter Blue subscriber. And unfortunately, ad-free articles aren’t available on Android right now, and the company didn’t share a timeline for when that might change.
Disappointingly, you’ll still see ads on Twitter even when you subscribe to Twitter Blue, and don’t hold out hope that an ad-free feed will be arriving anytime soon, if at all. “We are not currently considering a Twitter ads-free product,” Twitter senior director of product Sara Beykpour said in a briefing.
Ad-free articles aren’t the only Scroll feature making a comeback; Twitter Blue will now offer a Nuzzel-like roundup of the most-shared articles from the people you follow called Top Articles that updates every 24 hours. Twitter wound down Nuzzel when it bought Scroll but committed to bringing “core elements” of the product to Twitter at some point.
The roundup of top articles won’t be an email like Nuzzel was. Instead, you’ll access it on Twitter itself, though it’s only available on Android and the web at the moment. A Twitter spokesperson said it will arrive on iOS “very soon.”
Nuzzel is back (sort of) as Top Articles. Image: Twitter
Twitter Blue subscribers will also be able to customize their navigation bar so that you can pin areas of the app that you want to be more easily accessible. Customizing the navigation bar will only be available on iOS to start, and custom themes is an iOS-only feature as well.
Twitter Blue costs $2.99 per month in the US (or an equivalent price in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand). I wish that it offered a totally ad-free experience, and I don’t like that some individual features are fragmented across platforms, but there’s enough for me to try it for a month and see how I like it.
Twitter Blue is now available in the US - The Verge
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Glenn Petersen||11/11/2021 3:35:58 AM|
|Twitter Launches Cryptocurrency Team to Explore Bitcoin, Blockchain Uses|
The Twitter Crypto group will set strategy to help the social-media app’s creators
By Joseph Pisani
Wall Street Journal
Updated Nov. 10, 2021 5:10 pm ET
Twitter Inc. is launching a dedicated crypto team.
The social-media company said Wednesday it is assembling a team called “ Twitter TWTR -2.55% Crypto” to look into ways to help creators on the app to earn money or accept cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin for payment, and other ways to use blockchain technology.
The team is being led by a new hire, software engineer Tess Rinearson, who will report to Twitter’s chief technology officer. The team is looking to fill new roles, but didn’t specify how many. Twitter said the new team will “set the strategy for the future of crypto at (and on) Twitter.”
Twitter already lets people tip users with bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency. And it recently announced a way for users to verify they own a nonfungible token, or NFT, that they post as a profile picture. But the company wants to explore decentralized apps, which run independently and not through a server owned by a company, giving users more control over privacy and over what they can post.
A Twitter spokeswoman declined to give specific examples of what the company might build, but added that it sees “an opportunity to help creators participate in the promise of an evolving, decentralized internet, directly on Twitter.”
The price of bitcoin recently traded at roughly $66,000, near its record high, according to CoinDesk.
Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, who has been a long-time fan of bitcoin, sold his first tweet as an NFT in March for about $2.9 million.
The announcement comes after Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook said earlier this week that the company is looking into digital currencies. While the company has no immediate plans to accept cryptocurrency on Apple Pay or as a means of tender for its products, “there are other things that we are definitely looking at,” Mr. Cook said at a conference on Tuesday, without offering further details.
Other companies and executives have ventured into the cryptocurrency space. Tesla Inc. disclosed a $1.5 billion investment in bitcoin in February and soon after began accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicles. The company suspended that initiative in May, however, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed worry about the source of the electricity being used to power bitcoin mining.
Mr. Musk said in July that he and his rocket company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, hold bitcoin.
PayPal Holdings Inc. has said it is looking to expand its business of enabling customers to pay merchants with cryptocurrency assets. And payments company Square Inc., which like Twitter is also led by Mr. Dorsey, said last year that it acquired about $50 million worth of bitcoin for its corporate treasury.
Write to Joseph Pisani at email@example.com
Twitter Launches Cryptocurrency Team to Explore Bitcoin, Blockchain Uses - WSJ
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (1327)||11/29/2021 1:23:08 PM|
|From: Glenn Petersen|
Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal will replace Jack Dorsey as CEO
PUBLISHED MON, NOV 29 20219:20 AM EST
UPDATED 60 MIN AGO
Jessica Bursztynsky @JBURSZ
Lauren Feiner @LAUREN_FEINER
-- Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down as chief of the social media company.
-- Dorsey, 45, was serving as both the CEO of Twitter and Square, his digital payments company.
-- Parag Agrawal, the company’s chief technology officer, is taking over as CEO effective immediately.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down as chief of the social media company, effective immediately. Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief technology officer, will take over the helm, the company said Monday.
Shares of Twitter were down about half a percent before noon on Monday.
Dorsey, 45, was serving as both the CEO of Twitter and Square, his digital payments company. Dorsey will remain a member of the board until his term expires at the 2022 meeting of stockholders, the company said. Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor will become the chairman of the board, succeeding Patrick Pichette, a former Google executive, who will remain on the board as chair of the audit committee.
“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in a statement, though he didn’t provide any additional detail on why he decided to resign.
Agrawal will have to meet Twitter’s aggressive internal goals. The company said earlier this year it aims to have 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023 and to at least double its annual revenue in that year.
Agrawal, who’s served as CTO since 2017, has been with Twitter for more than a decade. He had been in charge of strategy involving artificial intelligence and machine learning and he led projects to make tweets in users’ timelines more relevant to them.
Agrawal was also previously tasked with finding a leader for Project Bluesky, a research project Twitter launched to establish open and decentralized standards for social media platforms. Dorsey had previously said Bluesky will help social media companies collaborate on how posts are promoted to users and will give users more control over the content they see. Bluesky could also make it easier for the social networks to enforce restrictions against hate speech and other abuse, essentially helping them share the load at a lower cost.
Agrawal held research internships at AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo before joining Twitter.
Dorsey said in an email he published on Twitter that Agrawal has been his choice to lead the company “for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs.”
Dorsey was nearly ousted last year when Twitter stakeholder Elliott Management had sought to replace him. Elliott Management founder and billionaire investor Paul Singer had wondered whether Dorsey should run both of the public companies. Singer called for Dorsey to step down as CEO of one of them before the investment firm reached a deal with Twitter’s management.
Elliott issued a statement on Monday’s news, noting that its collaboration with Jack and Twitter over the past couple of years has been productive.
“Twitter is now executing against an ambitious multi-year plan to dramatically increase the company’s reach and value, and we look forward to the next chapter of Twitter’s story,” the company’s managing partner Jesse Cohn and senior portfolio manager Marc Steinberg said. “Having gotten to know both incoming Chairman Bret Taylor and incoming CEO Parag Agrawal, we are confident that they are the right leaders for Twitter at this pivotal moment for the company.”
Dorsey, who co-founded the social media giant in 2006, served as CEO until 2008 before being pushed out of the role. He returned to lead Twitter in 2015 after former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down.
Twitter shares have jumped 85% since Dorsey took over as CEO on Oct 5. 2015. Square stock has surged 1,566% since its initial public offering on Nov. 19, 2015.
— CNBC’s Annie Palmer and Sal Rodriguez contributed to this report.
Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal will replace Jack Dorsey as CEO (cnbc.com)
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)|
|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (1328)||11/29/2021 3:24:38 PM|
|From: Sr K|
Parag is the technology lead, responsible for Twitter’s technical strategy and overseeing machine learning and AI across the consumer, revenue, and science teams. Since joining Twitter in 2011, Parag has led efforts on scaling Twitter Ads systems, as well as reaccelerating user growth by improving Home timeline relevance.
Prior to joining Twitter, Parag did research in large-scale data management with collaborators at Microsoft Research, Yahoo! Research, and AT&T Labs.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from IIT Bombay and a PhD in computer science from Stanford University. Follow him on Twitter at @paraga.m
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: Sr K||11/29/2021 9:00:09 PM|
|Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Steps Down as CEO|
Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal to succeed Dorsey atop social-media company effective immediately
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, shown speaking at a Miami cryptocurrency conference in June, is ending his second stint as the social-media company’s chief executive.PHOTO: MARCO BELLO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
Updated Nov. 29, 2021 8:21 pm ET
Twitter Inc. TWTR -2.74% said Monday that Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is stepping down, a departure driven in part by investors uncomfortable with his roles running two large, publicly traded companies, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Twitter co-founder, one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent figures, is also CEO of digital payments company Square Inc. His split duties and outside hobbies have long drawn criticism, and last year activist investor Elliott Management Corp. pushed for changes at Twitter, including potentially adjusting Mr. Dorsey’s role, the people said.
The company said in a securities filing in November that it had updated its CEO succession plan. The board, which included an Elliott representative, and Mr. Dorsey discussed plans at the time for him to step down relatively soon, the people said. He decided to resign now after Twitter launched a number of new products in recent months, the people said.
Parag Agrawal was appointed Twitter’s new CEO.PHOTO: TWITTER
Twitter’s board of directors named Parag Agrawal CEO and a member of the board, effective immediately. Mr. Agrawal was previously Twitter’s chief technology officer. Bret Taylor, Salesforce.com Inc. president and chief operating officer, was named chairman of the board
“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Mr. Dorsey said in a statement.
Elliott said Monday that it believes Messrs. Agrawal and Taylor are the right leaders for the company.
Mr. Dorsey’s move doesn’t affect his position at Square, which he also co-founded. With a market capitalization of almost $100 billion, Square is more than twice as valuable as Twitter, which is valued at about $37 billion.
With his long beard and nose ring, 45-year-old Mr. Dorsey is one of the business world’s most enigmatic figures. His management style involves delegating most major decisions to subordinates, in part to allow other executives to step up. It also allows him to pursue his personal passions.
In 2019, he said he planned to work much of the following year from Africa, though he later abandoned those plans amid the pandemic. Lately, he has been a vocal proponent of cryptocurrency and an increasingly active philanthropist.
Despite the criticism, many employees have praised Mr. Dorsey as a stabilizing force within the company since he returned to the CEO role in 2015, years after Twitter fired him in 2008 over concerns about his management and absenteeism.
Known for its short-form messaging service, Twitter is a popular venue for political and pop-culture discourse, but it has struggled to find sources of growth.
Twitter use, measured by monetizable daily active usage, was up 13% year-over-year to 211 million in the third quarter, topping the 11% increase in the second quarter. That user base remains a fraction of the size of the other major social-media platforms, including Meta Platforms Inc. ’s Facebook, Alphabet Inc. ’s YouTube and ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok.
Twitter is increasingly experimenting with new products. In the third quarter, it launched a pilot of a shopping feature called Shop Module that allows businesses to showcase their products at the top of their profiles and users to purchase items without having to leave Twitter. The company also has launched a subscription service and Twitter Spaces, which lets users have live audio conversations.
Not all such efforts have succeeded. In July, the company said it would scrap its Fleets feature, which allowed users to post tweets, pictures and videos that would disappear after 24 hours.
Twitter also has set ambitious growth goals. In February, Twitter revealed targets to reach at least $7.5 billion in annual revenue in 2023 and a daily user base of at least 315 million by the end of that year. The company is expected to end 2021 with $5.1 billion in annual revenue and about 216 million in daily active users, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Twitter shares initially jumped on a report of Mr. Dorsey’s departure, rising as much as 11% before they were halted ahead of the announcement. The stock ended the day lower, falling 2.7% to $45.78. After rising sharply early in the pandemic, Twitter shares have underperformed recently, dropping more than a third over the past six months.
Since Mr. Dorsey returned as CEO in 2015, Twitter shares have gained 62.6%, versus 230.1% for the Nasdaq Composite.
The battle with Elliott, known as one of Wall Street’s toughest activist investors, highlighted many of Twitter’s business struggles, some of which have persisted for years. Twitter and Elliott reached a deal last year in which the social-media company agreed to appoint two board members and commit to $2 billion in share buybacks, with Mr. Dorsey remaining CEO while Twitter developed a succession plan.
Despite the concessions and new product releases, Elliott never became fully comfortable with Mr. Dorsey’s unwillingness to focus on Twitter full time, according to people familiar with the matter. Twitter said Mr. Dorsey would remain a member of its board until his term expires in 2022.
Mr. Dorsey led Twitter through a tumultuous period that saw intense public debate over the role of social media in society, particularly around how such platforms should regulate speech.
Mr. Agrawal inherits those issues. Relatively unknown outside of Twitter, where he has worked as an engineer for more than a decade, he will need to address some lawmakers’ calls to better police what the company deems hate speech and misinformation along with others’ allegations that Twitter improperly censors users.
Like other social-media companies, Twitter is also facing growing efforts from governments around the world to remove content and reveal the identities of users they consider troublesome.
For years, Twitter’s highest-profile user was former President Donald Trump, until Twitter permanently suspended his account early this year, citing the risk of incitement of violence following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters. The move renewed longstanding complaints from conservatives who said the company is biased against them, allegations that Mr. Dorsey has denied repeatedly before Congress.
0:00 / 2:05
Twitter, Google and Facebook CEOs Differ on Possible Changes to Section 230
Related Video: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai stopped short of endorsing changes proposed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Section 230, a law that spells out who is legally responsible for content on the internet. Photo: C-SPAN
The episode also highlighted Mr. Dorsey’s hands-off management approach: The CEO was working in French Polynesia at the time and allowed his lieutenants to make the call.
Mr. Dorsey has been closely associated with Twitter’s development ever since co-founding the company. In his departure note, he said he doesn’t agree that a company being “founder-led”—often seen as a virtue in Silicon Valley—is always positive.
“Ultimately I believe that is severely limiting and a single point of failure,” he said. “I believe it is critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder’s influence or direction.”
Former employees described Twitter’s new CEO, Mr. Agrawal, as a close friend of Mr. Dorsey’s. Like the departing chief, he also started off as an engineer and worked his way into management. Mr. Dorsey said in his message that he would leave Twitter after his terms ends around May, to give Mr. Agrawal space as a leader.
Write to Georgia Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org and Kirsten Grind at email@example.com
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|