The preliminary response to Jack Dorsey’s ascension to permanent CEO at Twitter this week was mixed: the stock shot up five percent on Wednesday after the news broke, but shares are down 7 percent on Thursday.
Experts said Dorsey faces a formidable challenge on the heels of the company’s stock hitting an all-time low in August, and criticism that the company’s growth and ideas have plateaued.
“Overall, Twitter is in a very precarious position right now,” digital expert and co-founder of Brave Ventures Jesse Redniss told TheWrap.“Dorsey has prided himself as a ‘Product Vision guy’ and that’s a big component of exactly what Twitter needs right now.”
Jenni Hogan, a social media expert and Chief Strategy Officer for Tagboard, said Twitter needs to change the impression that it is competing with that other social goliath, Facebook.
“Twitter needs to ‘find itself’ again, build self-confidence and project a strong sense of identity and vision so it is no longer compared to Facebook,” she told TheWrap. “And Jack is just the leader to do that.”
The co-founder, who also launched the mobile payment company Square, would probably agree with Redniss’ assessment. He recently responded critically to the company’s worst quarterly revenue growth numbers since it went public in 2013.
Dorsey was also displeased with slow user growth in which second quarter growth was up just 8 percent compared to the previous quarter: “This is unacceptable and we’re not happy about it.”
Redniss pointed out that a big part of Twitter’s initial dominance revolved around capturing the real-time media frenzy. But times are different, and Dorsey needs to adapt.
“TV is quite different now then it was when Twitter IPO’ed,” he continued, citing that big events like NFL football and shows like “Empire” and “Game of Thrones” are the big drivers of live audience engagement cycles.
But the rest of the TV content consumption world is leaving Twitter, Redniss claimed, trying to figure out where to go next. This needs to be Dorsey’s focal point in order to boost Wall Street confidence and prevent the social brand from becoming complacent, he said.
“He needs to have a clear vision on where the core Twitter product needs to go in order to stay relevant and adaptable for varying degrees of user types and engagement,” Redniss continued.
Said Hogan: “Jack needs to make it easy for the end users to be on the journey, become mini-media entities and enjoy the ride with the company.
“Instead, take risks, lead strong, and set a vision and excitement we all want to be part of.”