One question that has kept cropping up time and again over the last few months has finally been answered – IS TWITTER FOR SALE?
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey waved off the idea that the company is looking for a buyer, saying at an investment conference that he sees value in Twitter remaining independent. “I’ve always felt there’s a lot of strength to our independence,” Dorsey said, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference 2018 in San Francisco. The exec had been asked if he saw any advantages to being part of a larger company. Twitter is not “constrained” by any one platform, he said, and that “we can work through any medium.”
Wall Street analysts have regularly speculated that Twitter could be a takeover candidate by a larger tech or media company, not least because of the huge trove of data it aggregates. The No. 1 focus for the company right now is to understand the “overall cohesive, comprehensive health of the platform,” Dorsey said. “That includes Twitter’s efforts to improve safety and reduce the spread of misinformation, but it’s much broader than that,” Dorsey added.
He said the company’s efforts to improve “information quality” extend to providing tools to help users ascertain a source’s credibility. “Twitter is a very good mirror for what’s going on in the world,” Dorsey said. “At our worst it makes people be a lot more reflexive, and at our best it encourages people to be a lot more reflective.” Regarding Twitter’s text-centric nature, he commented, “We kind of got stuck in the age of typing. Sometimes, based on the context you’re in, you want to watch a video or see an image.”
Dorsey pointed to Twitter’s live-video strategy as a start but admitted that right now Twitter doesn’t have any organizing mechanism for finding or following live events. “That’s what we’re working on,” he said.
Shares in Twitter closed at $33.44 on Tuesday, up 8 percent against a 0.3 percent rise in the S&P 500 Index. Dorsey’s comments came after the closing bell, and shares were unchanged afterward.
“I have gotten to a much more steady state where I can be less reactive to things that happen,” Dorsey said. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without strength of the teams around me.”