Twitter, Inc. (NASDAQ: TWTR) CEO Parag Agrawal Comments at Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference 2022

Q – Brian Nowak

Okay. So, day number 101, you’re through the initial 100-day plan. I guess, I wanted to sort of start with sort of a question around that. So — you’ve got this new exciting job. Talk to us about initial changes you’ve made in the way to think about the way the company operates and sort of, what do you sort of see as the most misunderstood opportunities at Twitter that you’re focused on?

Parag Agrawal

So the initial changes. Great question. So as I’ve taken on this role, I’ve been at the company for over a decade, right? And I’ve spent a lot of my time initially on building our ads products, went on to work on our consumer products. And then over the last four years, I’ve been in this role as the CTO with this very broad view of the business.

And I think the biggest thing I’ve been focused on in my first 100 days, thanks, Brian, for telling me that I’m on day 101, has been really this focus on improving our execution. Like, at Twitter, we see this incredible opportunity to build so many products and make improvement products in so many ways for our customers, but also this notion that we’ve just not moved fast enough historically. And being inside the company I’ve been seeing all the things that slow us down, and I see this urgency to really improve our execution. And that’s sort of really what I’ve been focused on.

To that end, the themes I speak about internally to improve our execution are how do we increase accountability, how do we make faster decisions as a company? And how do we focus our effort on doing fewer things in parallel.

Towards this, one of the changes I’ll call out, which was something we did early, I think, within the first 10 days was, we shifted ourselves from a functional model to a GM model. Our general management model is where we now have three GMs, one for consumer side, one for revenue side and one for core technology, who own cross-functional resources, engineers, product managers, designers, user researchers, everything it takes to build products and to operate them and the budget to do so.

And there’s now clarity on who owns what, who’s accountable for what. And this clarity allows us to have this increased accountability and faster decision-making that I was speaking to.

The other change I’ll really highlight goes to sort of our focus on looking at really important data and metrics in how we look at our business and how we adapt and make decisions. And it supports increased accountability; but more importantly, it supports this ability to learn.

As we ship new products, we want to be seeing what’s working, what’s not working and rapidly adapt our approach in order to be more successful. And I think, we’re really pushing this focus up and down the management team to be more focused on data and metrics, which will sort of ultimately lead to even better execution. So that’s really where my initial focus has been on solving this sort of long-standing desire to improve our execution.

Brian Nowak

Yeah. Okay. That’s very helpful. So as you’re fine-tuning the execution, as you’re studying all the data in the ML, if you talk to us a little bit about how you think about the core Twitter use case, engagement opportunities and monetization opportunities that you can really improve on for the next two, three, five years?

Parag Agrawal

Yeah. So if you think about sort of the core of what makes Twitter unique and differentiated, right, I think really to think about sort of the long-term opportunity, it’s really important to recognize, why Twitter works in its current form today. And we really focus our attention on two key factors here. One is around selection. By selection, I mean the selection of conversation on service. A broad set of people and content around the range of topics that are relevant to this moment.

And having this great selection is really, really important for us. That is what makes Twitter tick. The second thing I talk about is personalization, which is how do we surface the most relevant content from this broad selection to people instantly as soon as they show up. And really, these two are things that today make Twitter differentiated and unique. And our approach over the long-term to be successful is to continue trending those.

Now to talk about how we are going about that, right? Let me start with personalization. If you see the work we are doing, whether it be around topics where we’re allowing people to tell us what they’re interested in or it be in improving our machine learning systems that get better at understanding customer interest and intent, both of these are ways in which we now understand what people want.

Then we do work to figure out how to match content and creators to their audience more effectively through machine learning, supported by the initial understanding of intent. And as this plays out, we’re able to provide more daily utility to more people around more use cases on Twitter. And really, this personalized approach continues providing us benefit in terms of being able to provide people value and driving growth for the business.

Around selection, it’s helpful to illustrate using maybe just tying together all the work you’ve been seeing us do. We’ve been treating on this huge range of products, right, spaces, communities, creator monetization tools like super followers and tipping; our work on professional accounts; some tests we’re doing with shopping and commerce. The way I think about all of these is really this ecosystem that enables a content creator, a publisher, a business, small or large, to show up on our service, leverage this ecosystem, to build our audience, to connect with them and to monetize it, right?

And I think this whole approach allows us to get into areas we’ve historically not been great. Here’s what I mean by that. Today, Twitter is amazing for areas of broad interest, like sports, politics, entertainment, media. Twitter is amazing in terms of the content selection and the people on the service around these topics. Where we have real opportunities around the long tail of interest, right?

And what these products allow us to do through things like newsletters or through communities, which might be focused on a narrower interest base is to really expand ourselves and selection on our service to be inclusive of this long range — sort of long tail of interest to then be able to personalize experiences around them and really advance sort of the things that differentiate Twitter even further over time.


Did you enjoy this article? Join our FREE Newsletter!
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 investors and business leaders worldwide. Get the latest actionable business and investing intelligence before the rest of the crowd.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.