Linda Yaccarino, the new CEO of social media giant Twitter, has revealed her plans for a revamped version of the platform, dubbed “Twitter 2.0,” shortly after assuming the position from Elon Musk last week.
Yaccarino aims to position Twitter as the most accurate and reliable real-time information source globally. The company has faced criticism in recent times regarding its approach to tackling disinformation.
Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter last year, the company has encountered challenges in addressing the spread of false or misleading information. Over the past month, Twitter lost its head of trust and safety and withdrew from the European Union’s disinformation code, further drawing attention to its struggles in combating misinformation.
In a series of tweets and an email to employees, Yaccarino echoed Musk’s vision of transforming Twitter into a “global town square.” She emphasized the platform’s potential to drive civilization forward by facilitating unfiltered information exchange and open dialogues on crucial topics.
However, concerns remain about maintaining unbiased content on Twitter. Ray Wang, CEO of Silicon Valley-based research firm Constellation, highlighted the need for users to perceive Twitter as a neutral platform. Musk, who identifies as a “free speech absolutist,” has criticized Twitter’s content moderation policies, advocating for a genuine forum for free speech. Yet, his efforts to reinstate right-wing accounts and loosen moderation have led to the departure of advertisers, resulting in a reported 40% decline in revenue in December compared to the previous year.
Ensuring consistent user content and engagement expectations will be crucial for attracting advertisers back to the platform, according to Mr. Wang. He added that Yaccarino’s appointment brings a balance to Musk’s perspective, as the CEO has earned his respect.
After purchasing Twitter for $44 billion last year, Musk faced pressure to find a leader to oversee the platform, allowing him to focus on his other ventures, including electric carmaker Tesla and rocket firm SpaceX. On May 12, Musk, who recently regained the title of the world’s richest person, announced Yaccarino’s succession as CEO, initially set to take place in six weeks. However, she assumed the role earlier than expected, coinciding with the resignation of the head of trust and safety at the company.
Yaccarino is known for successfully navigating NBCUniversal through industry upheavals caused by technological changes. In her previous position, she spearheaded the overhaul of the company’s advertising sales business and played a crucial role in the launch of Peacock, NBCUniversal’s ad-supported streaming platform, in 2020. As the new CEO of Twitter, Yaccarino now oversees business operations at a company striving to improve profitability. Musk will continue as the executive chairman and chief technology officer.
Analysts from Wedbush Securities, such as Daniel Ives, believe that Yaccarino’s appointment is a positive step forward for Twitter. They expect her to bring a solid vision and address the challenges the company faces in monetizing the platform, which remains its most valuable asset.
Yaccarino’s plans for “Twitter 2.0” indicate a renewed effort to strengthen the platform’s credibility, combat disinformation, and attract advertisers. As she leads the company forward, the changes she implements will have significant implications for Twitter’s future as a key player in the social media landscape.
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