Dozens of Twitter staff throughout gross sales and engineering departments have been laid off final week, together with one in all Musk’s direct studies who was managing engineering for Twitter’s adverts enterprise, in accordance with firm sources and social media posts from affected staff seen by The Verge. This implies Musk has completed at least three rounds of layoffs since his promise to cease doing them in November. In the meantime, he has given a directive internally to revamp how adverts are focused in Twitter’s major feed inside every week — a part of his plan to repair what he has publically called “the worst advert relevance on Earth.” (The Information first reported that recent cuts hit the gross sales crew final week.)
Musk’s plan is to alter Twitter’s advert focusing on to work like Google’s search adverts, which goal primarily by key phrases which can be looked for, somewhat than a person’s exercise and profile information. It’s an strategy that works effectively for a search engine — the place individuals go to precise particular intent for locating one thing — and has helped Google construct some of the worthwhile companies of all time. But it surely hasn’t labored for a social media enterprise thus far.
In a tweet on Saturday, Marcin Kadluczka, the laid-off engineering supervisor for monetization who reported on to Musk, hinted on the infeasibility of the one-week deadline in a tweet: “I imagine Twitter can actually enhance adverts in 2-3 months (no essentially in every week although).” I’ve confirmed that Musk gave the aggressive deadline simply earlier than Kadluczka and others within the adverts, shopper, and gross sales orgs have been laid off final Friday.
Right here is the place I’ll caveat that Musk gave a similar deadline to revamp Twitter Blue when he first purchased the corporate that wasn’t met. He might additionally change his thoughts about how adverts ought to work on Twitter. He didn’t reply to an e mail asking for remark.
Enhancing Twitter’s adverts has been a key focus of Musk’s since he purchased the corporate. He has appropriately identified that Twitter’s adverts are much less customized and efficient than its opponents. (As my colleague Nilay Patel likes to say, critiquing the Musk period of Twitter is not at all an endorsement of the earlier regime.) But it surely’s unclear if altering focusing on to be keyword-driven like Google adverts will truly enhance the standard of Twitter’s promoting, as others with a greater understanding of the trade-offs than me have identified: