Twitter’s Dorsey downplays acquisition possibilities, sees ‘strength to our independence’
If you’re a Twitter shareholder wondering if the company is about to get acquired, co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey doesn’t want you to get that impression.
“There’s a lot of strength to our independence,” he said, at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. Dorsey believes that it’s important for Twitter’s business that they’re “not constrained.”
He also voiced commitment to building a “sustainable” business and providing “return to our shareholders.” He added that Twitter has “a lot left to prove but we’re proving it little by little every day.”
Twitter’s stock is down from its high of $69 in early 2014, but the company has had an impressive run in the past year, with shares going from $16.52 to $33.44 in the past 12 months.
During its most troubled times, the company weighed selling to potential buyers like Salesforce, Microsoft or Disney. Since then, investors have continued to wonder if an acquisition is still in the cards.
The company was recently dealt a blow when Twitter COO Anthony Noto left to join SoFi as CEO. Some have wondered how Dorsey can continue to run both Twitter and Square, but Square’s stock has also done well, tripling in the past year.
At the conference, Dorsey spoke of his long-term vision for Twitter, and even downplayed the label “social network.” He views the platform as the “zeitgeist of what the world is thinking.”
He believes that video will continue to be a big revenue driver. “Video is our fastest growing in terms of monetization,” said Dorsey. He said that Twitter will be investing in “self-serve technologies” to make it easier for producers to use the service.
Dorsey also hopes to expand on the “moments” section, which allows users to see a collection of tweets around a particular topic. “There’s a lot of value in the what happened in the recap nature of our service,” he said, adding that “we’ve barely scratched the surface of it with a product like ‘moments.’ ”
He also spoke of using machine learning and deep learning to tailor the service to individual’s preferences. “We are failing today because we don’t have a lot of the personalizations we need,” he said. “If they have to search navigation to find it, we have failed.”
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