Since taking on the role of CEO, Linda Yaccarino has wasted no time in implementing her vision for Twitter’s future. Aware of the criticisms thrown at Twitter’s sluggish product innovation and weaker ad offerings, Yaccarino is determined to make significant changes. The move is a step up to rise above rivals like Facebook’s Meta and TikTok.
Video is at the forefront of Twitter’s renewed focus. The platform recently introduced a beta-stage ad format, aiming to support longer-form video and launching a TikTok-style short-video feed. Notably, former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson has already started a new show on Twitter, aligning with Elon Musk’s commitment to maintaining an open platform that accommodates diverse political perspectives.
Digital Wallet and AI Ads
Yaccarino’s influence is evident from the outset. Upon joining Twitter, she negotiated an investment in rebuilding the advertising, sales, and partnership team, which had been downsized by Musk as part of cost-cutting measures. Yaccarino has expressed her intention to engage more with the press and plans to present her vision through Twitter Spaces, the platform’s audio feature, in early August.
In addition to revitalising the ad business, Yaccarino aims to make commerce more accessible on Twitter. Plans include the development of a digital wallet and exploring the use of emerging generative AI technology to enhance ad campaigns, following the footsteps of Google and Meta.
Building stronger relationships with partners is another priority for Yaccarino. Twitter has resumed payments to Google Cloud, and discussions are underway for broader partnerships with companies such as Google, Amazon, Salesforce, and IBM.
Balancing Moderation with Freedom of Expression
Critical to Yaccarino’s mission is ensuring that brands feel confident that their content will not be associated with harmful material, while still maintaining Musk’s hands-off moderation approach. Twitter employs technology to prevent marketing from appearing alongside specific keywords or content, and efforts are being made to provide evidence of reduced toxic content to advertisers.
Musk has stated that most advertisers have returned or expressed intent to return to Twitter, although with a few exceptions. Still, there is work to be done as data shows that several top US advertisers paused advertising on Twitter for at least one month. Yaccarino aims to address these concerns and convince brands of the platform’s value.
While some industry experts view Yaccarino’s appointment as a positive development, others remain doubtful, citing potential interference from Musk and ongoing concerns about harmful content on the platform.
Aggressive and Ambitious Plans
Yaccarino’s action plan includes creating a new, immersive ad offering for video, attracting high-profile users to the platform, incorporating generative AI elements into the ad system, enabling in-app shopping, and expanding the sales team to engage potential partners directly.
Overall, Yaccarino’s strategy for Twitter 2.0 seeks to rebuild trust, enhance ad capabilities, and position Twitter as a leading platform for video content, news, and commerce. Her plans will be further revealed in an upcoming Twitter Spaces presentation, as she continues to navigate the challenges of transforming Twitter into a thriving and influential online community.