It is no longer news that a new CEO, Parag Agrawal, is in charge of Twitter, the micro-blogging platform used by millions daily. However, a new culture of rapid response and action is about to take over the company.
Agrawal made this shift in the tradition known during his first public outing after his appointment, which was at the Barclays tech conference. The CEO is focused on improving Twitter execution and making operations more efficient.
To achieve this, Agrawal is already making significant changes within Twitter. The company is now grouped into three categories; consumer, revenue, and core tech. He also introduced new titles for the heads of the groups, general manager.
The reshuffle saw the departure of two senior-level employees, which will take place by the end of the year. Notably, the two executives reported directly to the previous CEO, Jack Dorsey.
Explaining the reason for the recent changes, Agrawal said, “We were operating previously in a functional structure where we had a single engineering organization, a single design research organization, and product teams that were matrixed into them.”
Commenting on Lindsey Iannucci’s appointment as VP of Operations, Agrawal said, “She’s going to help us improve our operational rigor in this new structure to really get us to faster decision making, clearer ownership, increased accountability, improved operations, which will result in faster execution overall and better results.”
One thing that stood out during Agrawal’s appearance was his penchant for speed. As the former chief technology officer, he had been preoccupied with how to make products ship faster. He did this by updating Twitter’s technical stack.
Agrawal also lamented the slow decision-making that had plagued Twitter in the past, due to the coordination required among multiple teams.
On the acquisition of Quill, a messaging app, Agrawal said it was with a view to improving Twitter’s direct messaging feature, which has long become embarrassingly inadequate when put beside other company’s offerings. “The opportunity around DMs is really key. It’s a way you can connect with anyone in the world and expect to hear back from them.”
Agrawal became CEO after Dorsey, a co-founder, abruptly stepped down to focus on Block (formerly known as Square), where he is also CEO. The former CEO had faced scrutiny from investors on his ability to run the two companies simultaneously.
In related news, Twitter reported it is making big changes to how users report tweets. The new method will simplify how to report content that is abusive or against the social media policy.
The new method is already being tested by a select group of accounts in the US.
The main change is that, instead of selecting from descriptions of the incident which Twitter supplies, users will go through a process that uses a symptoms-first approach.
According to UX manager Renna Al-Yassini, Twitter had to find a way to cover most types of complaints, which it was not doing before. “What can be frustrating and complex about reporting is that we enforce based on terms of service violations as defined by the Twitter Rules. The vast majority of what people are reporting on fall within a much larger gray spectrum that don’t meet the specific criteria of Twitter violations, but they’re still reporting what they are experiencing as deeply problematic and highly upsetting.”
With the quality of reports improved, Twitter expects it will make more accurate and timely interventions in cases of violations. It has often faced criticism for what users call late responses or inconsistent actions.
This is the first major change Twitter has made to its reporting process. Previously, it only added reasons to report to the existing list, including coronavirus misinformation, election lies, etc.
The changes will come to a wider audience in 2022.