Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Monday that he was stepping down from his role as chief executive of the social media firm he created. Parag Agrawal would replace him. Dorsey will still be a director until the 2022 meeting.
“I am leaving Twitter, because the company has its founders in good hands. In a statement, Dorsey claimed that Parag is a person I trust deeply as Twitter’s chief executive officer. His work in the last 10 years was transformative. His skill, his heart and soul are deeply appreciated by me. His time is now to lead.
What impact this change at the top will have for users is unknown, but it could mean that the new CEO won’t be splitting his time trying to run two companies – as Dorsey had done while being the CEO of financial services company Square.
Roger Entner, a technology analyst at Recon Analytics said that Jack Dorsey’s resignation means Twitter has a new CEO. “Jack shared his time between Square (Twitter) and Twitter. Parag, the new CEO of Twitter, is more technically oriented to Twitter’s issues that Jack Dorsey was.
Dorsey certainly wasn’t the face of Twitter in the way that Mark Zuckerberg is to Facebook – or Steve Jobs was to Apple. Many Americans are familiar with Jobs, Zuckerberg and others. However it’s unlikely that many would recognize Dorsey (the outgoing) CEO Twitter.
Damian Radcliffe from Columbia University, Professor of Journalism and Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism said, “It is certainly true that Mark Zuckerberg for many users is the face of Facebook and perhaps the most well-known leader of a network.”
“I suspect most users, of most social networks, don’t know – and probably don’t care – who is in charge,” added Radcliffe. Radcliffe said that users are more focused on a user-friendly app and whether it meets their communication and information needs. The Twitterati may be concerned about the implications of this, but let’s not forget Jack left before (2008-11), he’s also super busy with Square, and had mooted the idea of moving to Africa last year – an aspiration which left some wondering whaat this meant for his ability to be hands-on leading the company. It’s more than just one person. Jack Dorsey!
Twitter reacted to the news of Dorsey’s departure with #RIPTwitter becoming a trending topic. On Monday, the hashtag #GETTR was also trending. Many conservative-leaning Twitter users suggested that they would switch to GETTR instead of Twitter.
Twitter is not likely to see an exodus. However, even if it did, the majority of Twitter users wouldn’t be aware that other than they pay attention to C-Suite happenings. Already, there has been an increase in rival Twitter-like sites and this is not likely to change with the changes at the top.
Pew Research Center data shows there are already differences between parties in US social media usage. This trend is expected to continue. In that respect, it’s arguably mimicking other forms of media use – like cable news and online websites – where the partisan divides are already pretty entrenched,” said Radcliffe.
Radcliffe stated, “Given the allegations of bias by former President Trump and the high-profile nature of some (like Jason Miller), with newer platforms such as GETTR it’s not surprising some conservatives will attempt these newer network,” Radcliffe explained. And that users will be more honest. They are also less biased. Although it can be challenging for social media platforms to succeed (and the landscape of social media is very busy), it’s possible to make a name for yourself. It will be interesting to observe if these new efforts are able to enjoy longevity like older, more established networks, such as YouTube and Twitter. This longevity could be affected by the quality and use of the website by prominent conservative opinion makers.
Many may leave, but they’re also likely to come back – simply because no other platform has yet managed to achieve the reach of Twitter.
Radcliffe stated that “I believe many users will migrate back to older networks, which are more established,”. We should not forget that their algorithms tend to display more of your existing thoughts and opinions. It can also be difficult to meet people who have different views than you do. Therefore, the chances of users using Twitter or other social networks with the exact same content experience as liberal and conservative users is very slim.
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