Your relationship with Wall Street investors (and, to some degree,
with advertisers) is fundamentally broken because you’ve gotten
trapped into using the wrong metrics to measure the success or
progress of Twitter. New signups are flat, and they’re going to
stay flat, and every desperate flailing attempt to change that
just reminds engaged users that they’re not seeing any progress
and they don’t believe you can ship features they care about.
Meanwhile, do you know how many new video creators joined YouTube
this quarter? Me neither! You know why? Because all the good
videos are on YouTube! What percentage of people who visit YouTube
each month are logged in? What percentage ever uploaded a video?
Answer: Nobody gives a shit. Because YouTube inarguably drives
culture, and people (and advertisers!) want to be part of that.
Similarly, when Trump destroys the planet with more rambling,
incoherent abusive gibberish, nobody is going to ask, “Did he say
it on Tumblr?” Because Twitter is the place that popular culture
gets created and discussed! I’m not happy about the fact that
Twitter helped Trump get elected, but it makes it damned obvious
that investors watching your signup numbers have thoroughly missed
the point. Change the metrics, change the story, take the reins
and lead them into a better understanding of the world than
whatever meager measurements they got obsessed with in 2009.
By measuring the wrong things, not only is Twitter not being rewarded for what it is doing well, but it’s also providing motivation to Twitter to allow bad behavior. I see porno spam all the time now on Twitter, and I’m certain it would be trivial — trivial — for Twitter to block it. But they don’t, and I can only surmise the reason why is that because they’re measuring “activity”, they see all activity as good activity.