Twitter is cutting 9% of its global workforce, with sales and marketing the most heavily affected departments.
The social network says the restructure is intended to create “greater efficiency” as it moves toward its goal of becoming profitable in 2017.
“The restructuring allows us to continue to fully fund our highest priorities, while eliminating investment in non-core areas and driving greater efficiency,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a company statement. He did not comment on numerous recent buyout rumours, none of which have come to fruition.
The brand only hired its first CMO Leslie Berland in January this year. In July she launched a marketing push to attract new users as Twitter looks to dispel myths around its platform and how to use it.
Although it has more than 300 million users, growth has stagnated and its audience has been overtaken by other social sites such as Instagram and Snapchat. That has had a knock-on effect on revenues and caused mounting concern over its future growth prospects.
Its third quarter results show that total revenue reached $616m (£504.3m), up 8% year on year. While the revenue increase was better than forecast, it was significantly lower than the 20% rise in the previous quarter.
Dorsey has also previously stated the importance of building its brand. He admitted during a talk at Dmexco this year that there are still areas where Twitter needs to improve and that the site had struggled recently to identify what its core function should be.
“We have experienced a series of challenges. For a long time, Twitter saw hundreds of use cases and never really saw which was important to strengthen,” he said.
Upping its focus on personalisation
Twitter is focusing on multiple areas in order to get people back on the platform. Live video is central to its proposition, having signed up EE and bet365 for its Amplify ad service earlier this year so it can serve UK users live sports highlights. It is also live-streaming 10 American football games this season in a partnership with the NFL.
Future objectives include improving users’ timelines to cater to their specific interests, with Twitter saying it has only “just scratched the surface” when it comes to personalisation.
“We want to focus on interests. In the past, we wanted to help people find individuals rather than meeting them around the topics they care about most. Twitter is stronger around topics of interest and we can do a much better job there still,” said its CFO Anthony Noto during the investor call today (27 October).
Dorsey added that Twitter’s focus on becoming the “most comprehensive news channel on the planet” seems to finally be making an impression on its users.
He concluded: “We are focused on improving every single day and people are showing us that these changes are working. We see more people wanting to use Twitter and use it more often. We are looking at everything we can do to strengthen our core, as we think it’s powerful and unique.”