Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says his platform gives business and government leaders a tremendous ability to “humanize” and appear a lot smaller than their larger than life titles, which is why Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s account is one of his favourites on Twitter.
Speaking at the Dmexco digital marketing trade show in Cologne, Germany, Dorsey explained why Musk does Twitter right.
Dorsey said: “He’s constantly on Twitter, constantly talking about what they are doing — and how he’s feeling about it as well. He’s very open and using it to correct press and if people aren’t focused on the right things. I think he’s a really good model of how to use it well.
“He gets into conversation, he loves what he does, he’s a scientist and he geeks out on the platform and he has conversations about this as well.”
Dorsey noted when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin announced its latest rocket project, only for Musk to retort that SpaceX had been there and done that years ago.
Dorsey said: “There are interesting dynamics that occur organically, naturally and it humanizes the entire organisation.”
Dorsey on what makes Twitter different and what Twitter needs to do better
Elsewhere in Dorsey’s appearance at Dmexco via video link, where he was interviewed by WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, he spoke about what sets Twitter apart from other social networks: its focus on live.
His comments came a day after Twitter launched a new app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox One for streaming live video. Content will include 10 NFL Thursday Night Football Games, and video from MLB Advanced Media, Bloomberg News, and NBA.
“There’s a real opportunity for us to continue to strengthen our spirit of showing what’s happening and that news use case,” Dorsey said.
“When you ask people ‘what do you get from Twitter, what [do you see] from Twitter?’ usually news comes up. This is how I found out Michael Jackson died, or there was a protest, or a new product release. The iPhone just launched, what are people thinking about it? Are they going to buy it? Should I buy it? We carry a lot of the world’s conversation about every single topic under the sun and we also enable people to have this broadcast mechanism where they can reach the entire world faster than anyone else.”
In terms of improvements, Dorsey repeated, as he has said in other interviews, that Twitter is doubling down on making sure people immediately understand how to use Twitter and why they would want to use it — although he didn’t elaborate on what the company is doing to help people get there.
“We are making sure we are resetting the expectations around what Twitter is. Clearly making sure people understand Twitter to be the place to see what’s happening, to get the news topics they care about, and what’s happening around them locally as well,” Dorsey said.
“Anything that you have an interest in you can usually get opinions on, and insight, and commentary, and that’s really special and we want to continue to strengthen that, but also simplify the ability for anyone to get into and participate.”
Dorsey said Twitter is also making “safety” one of the company’s top priorities, having seen a recent “flare-up in targeted abuse and harassment.” Earlier this summer, abuse on the platform hit the headlines when “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones received a torrent of targeted racist and sexualized tweets, in an episode that culminated with high-profile conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos — who was perceived to be the ringleader of the incident — being permanently banned from Twitter
Dorsey said Twitter is now becoming “a lot more aggressive” about dealing with the problem and admitted that in the past, the company hadn’t been thinking cohesively enough about how it could put its engineering, product, and design resources behind the issue.
He added: “We are really confident in the roadmap we have before us and the tools we give to people to make sure they have an experience that helps them feel safe and safe enough to continue to express themselves and continue to express their strong opinions about what they see in the world. We need to take a stronger stance to make sure we are minimising targeted abuse.”
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