Twitter shifting focus towards video, commerce

Twitter is shifting its focus towards video, commerce and creator partnerships in a bid to revitalize its business. The social media company plans to prioritize these areas as part of its strategic overhaul, owner Elon Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino said during a recent investor presentation.
Linda Yaccarino of TwitterThe social media company aims to diversify its revenue streams beyond digital advertising.

Since assuming the role of CEO on June 5, Linda Yaccarino has engaged in preliminary discussions with various political and entertainment figures, payments services, and news and media publishers regarding potential partnerships. This strategic move aims to strengthen Twitter’s position in the market, Reuters news report said.

After Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in October, the company experienced a period of turbulence, marked by workforce reductions, criticism over content moderation practices, and the departure of several advertisers who were concerned about their brand association with inappropriate content.

Linda Yaccarino’s appointment as CEO, given her extensive background as an advertising executive who successfully modernized ad sales at NBCUniversal, indicated that digital advertising would remain a key focus for Twitter.

Initially, some ad-buying firms advised their clients to halt ad spending on Twitter following Elon Musk’s takeover. However, those recommendations have since been reversed, and major advertising holding companies are no longer advising a pause, as stated in one of the presentation slides. Prominent brands such as Warner Bros, Mondelez, McDonald’s, and Walmart have resumed advertising on Twitter after an initial hiatus.

During the investor presentation, Linda Yaccarino disclosed that ad spending in several advertiser categories has seen a minimum 40 percent year-over-year increase, including health, consumer packaged goods, and financial services.

Under Elon Musk’s leadership, Twitter rebranded its business as X Corp., aligning with the billionaire’s vision to create a “super app” similar to China’s WeChat. This envisioned app would incorporate digital payments and other services. Furthermore, Twitter is in the process of applying for “money transmitter licenses” in all 50 U.S. states, as stated in one of the slides presented.

The company has also placed emphasis on expanding its video content offerings. Vertical videos now account for over 10 percent of the time users spend on Twitter, as highlighted in the presentation. Additionally, popular figures like former Fox News host Tucker Carlson have launched shows on the platform, such as “Tucker on Twitter.” Twitter envisions selling ads and sponsorships in conjunction with content from Carlson and other creators.

Linda Yaccarino has expressed satisfaction with her working relationship with Musk, stating that he has shown strong support for her ideas and initiatives. This positive start bodes well for their collaboration going forward.