Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to resign, 140-character limit lifted for direct messages

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
Twitter announced two major, albeit unrelated, developments on Thursday, noting the departure of Dick Costolo as CEO and a crucial service change that raises direct messaging limits from 140 characters to 10,000.




The company announced (PDF link) to investors that Costolo will step down effective July 1, with co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey to serve as interim CEO while Twitter's board searches for a suitable replacement.

"I am tremendously proud of the Twitter team and all that the team has accomplished together during my six years with the Company," Costolo said. "We have great leaders who work well together and a clear strategy that informs our objectives and priorities."

Twitter has a tumultuous history when it comes to upper management. Dorsey, who led the company through investment rounds, was pushed out and replaced by co-founder Evan Williams in 2008. Three years later, Dorsey returned as executive chairman after Williams was ousted, to be succeeded by Costolo.

Early investor Chris Sacca recently published an analysis of how Twitter can change for the better, which put even greater pressure on Costolo and his team, reports The New York Times.

Costolo will remain on Twitter's board directly following his transition out. Along with interim CEO duties, Dorsey plans to serve the same role at his payments firm Square.

Earlier in the day, Twitter announced an upcoming change to the DM character cap as part of a larger effort to bolster supporting and complementary offerings.

The direct messaging feature was most recently updated in April with open DMs, or the ability to send messages to other users, followed or not.

Twitter did not specify a date for lengthier DM support, saying only to expect the change sometime in July.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    Concurrent with the announcement of the CEO change, Twitter released this photo of Dick Costolo ... umm .... or Jack Dorsey ... uh mmm, somebody ....

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/59954/width/350/height/700[/IMG]
  • Reply 2 of 28
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,322member
    About effing time the 140 character limit is killed.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    It's an odd situation, but nearly any metrics you'd consider twitter a success but, because wall street expects twitter to be the next facebook, it's not getting good press.

    A new CEO doesn't really bode well either, Twitter (like any online service) could be a few bad decisions away from irrelevance.

    Heck just look at Yahoo, Mayer is a capable, well networked individual. It does not necessarily mean that the company can be turned into something overnight.
  • Reply 4 of 28
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    Concurrent with the announcement of the CEO change, Twitter released this photo of Dick Costolo ... umm .... or Jack Dorsey ... uh mmm, somebody ....






    I believe it's one of the main bad guys in the 8-bit DOS game DOOM, which was made on a NeXT cube, the ancestor of the modern Mac.

  • Reply 5 of 28
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    Concurrent with the announcement of the CEO change, Twitter released this photo of Dick Costolo ... umm .... or Jack Dorsey ... uh mmm, somebody ....




     

    Hey, it's the guy who does the commercial for The Villages!

  • Reply 6 of 28
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

     



    I believe it's one of the main bad guys in the 8-bit DOS game DOOM, which was made on a NeXT cube, the ancestor of the modern Mac.




    To Hell with you!

  • Reply 7 of 28
    Twitter has two major problem: no evolution in the service itself for years and absolutely unattractive for casual users.

    And Twitter knows this.

    So they try to change things without diluting the core of what the service is too quickly now. A radical change will scare current active users away faster the new users get on board.

    You signal a change for large investors by switching to a new CEO. He goes after doing what he was paid for. This was making it a household name, making it a brand referenced heavily everywhere to secure the funding. And he did his job very well.

    Now that other problems arise in the future as nothing more can be done with the service that exists and growth is declining very fast, a new name needs to be attached to Twitter to secure future funding and probably acquisitions.

    Can a new CEO change things? Not necessarily. Being highly networked and able to run a company doesn't mean your company will out of a sudden change. See Yahoo.

    So naturally the easiest thing for Twitter is to work on the private message part to bind the users base more the the service in hope they bring their friends on it and they stay there. Not going to happen.

    Speaking in growth rate Twitter has been overtaken by Instagram in the past and even Snapchat will surpass them probably soon. The later are way more attractive for the casual mass and offered more evolution in their service in the past.

    The main failure of leadership was being blind to what is happening around in the last 18-24 months. Now they need to catch up and show growth again as demanded by investors. Profit is secondary here.

    It was a very good decision by Facebook to acquire Instagram. Really smart move, though of course they overpaid in shares for marketing reasons. Twitter should have done it, but they were to arrogant because of their brand name at the time. Big mistake.
  • Reply 8 of 28

    Twit just raised the character limit to "War and Peace" with director notes and alternate endings. Talk about a change!!!

  • Reply 9 of 28
    nanoakronnanoakron Posts: 123member
    Raised from 140 to 10,000.

    Soooo...email basically?
  • Reply 10 of 28
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,373member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    Concurrent with the announcement of the CEO change, Twitter released this photo of Dick Costolo ... umm .... or Jack Dorsey ... uh mmm, somebody ....






    I think that's just a high res photo of Mason Verger.

  • Reply 11 of 28
    [S][/S]You guys should see the Gawker headline for this story LOL.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,456member
    About effing time the 140 character limit is killed.

    I always suspected it actually had a beneficial effect in that it made people have to actually learn to be concise. Now Twitter is going to be filled with rambling and it may well have a detrimental effect IMHO.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,150moderator
    Vivek Ranadivé would be an interesting candidate for Twitter CEO. Check out what he's doing these days. #Topcom
  • Reply 14 of 28
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    About effing time the 140 character limit is killed.

    It's only for direct messages which do not appear on the time line.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    I make it a point to ask my teenager's friends if they or any of their friends use Twitter. The answer is always a resounding 'no'.
    I'm in tech, and none of my co-workers use it.

    The only people I know of who worship it are tech writers and podcasters (e.g. Gruber) who rely on it as an easy rumor mill and source of links for their blogs.
    I think it's heavy users delude themselves into thinking that their little echo chamber is way more important than it is.
  • Reply 16 of 28
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    gqb wrote: »
    I make it a point to ask my teenager's friends if they or any of their friends use Twitter. The answer is always a resounding 'no'.
    I'm in tech, and none of my co-workers use it.

    The only people I know of who worship it are tech writers and podcasters (e.g. Gruber) who rely on it as an easy rumor mill and source of links for their blogs.
    I think it's heavy users delude themselves into thinking that their little echo chamber is way more important than it is.

    The demographic is a little older. 20s and up. Twitter has become a Hugh viewing party during certain shows. During the airing of Game of Thrones search #got and you'll see Twitter burning up with tweets.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,503member
    About effing time the 140 character limit is killed.

    It's only changing for direct messages (DM's).
  • Reply 18 of 28
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,589member
    Twitters strength has been its brevity. Oops!
  • Reply 19 of 28
    reinthalreinthal Posts: 37member
    freerange wrote: »
    Twitters strength has been its brevity. Oops!

    Yes, absolutely. Writing in 140 characters can be painful but it is one hundredfold worth that pain so that we don't have to read rambling long-winded posts by everyone else.
  • Reply 20 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,503member
    reinthal wrote: »
    Yes, absolutely. Writing in 140 characters can be painful but it is one hundredfold worth that pain so that we don't have to read rambling long-winded posts by everyone else.

    Yep!
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