This is yuge. UK Business insider has just revealed (archive here) that due to a software error Twitter has been accidentally reporting higher advertising metrics for some video adverts by up to 35%. This led to customers being overbilled, although they have now received refunds. At roughly the same time, the Chief Technology Officer of Twitter Adam Messinger and Vice President of Product Josh McFarland have also announced their departures from the troubled social media network (archive here).
At the same time, on respected analyst Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research released a note describing the Twitter as, “toast”, and opining that stock in the company is worth less than $10 (archive here). That note appears to have been issued before the latest revelations.
All year Twitter stock has been collapsing in value and executives have been leaving as scandal after scandal hits the company. There was the removal of Milo Yiannopoulos, the scandal over paedophiles using the service and the incredibly foolish and arrogant refusal of the service to rule out banning the President-Elect of the United States, Donald Trump. As a result, Dorsey was recently humiliated by being excluded from a meeting between Trump key leaders of the technology industry.
Earlier this year a string of buyers, including Google and Disney looked into Twitter and decided not to invest (archive here), again causing stock to fall. Existing investors were jittery and new ones deterred even before it emerged today that Twitter’s advertisement figures were too high.
Earlier this year I decided to leave Twitter, after compelling them to unsuspend me. At the time the decision was vexing. I had built up a following but I reasoned that it would be a waste of effort to accumulate more followers only to be arbitrarily suspended by a monolithic organisation. Many people have felt unfairly treated by Twitter and there is a perception it is hostile to right-wing views. Now as Twitter’s future looks to be increasingly in doubt, I am happier than ever that I made the right decision.
Every day it becomes increasingly likely that Twitter will fail. We can only hope Trump will hasten the day by moving over to the far superior free speech platform Gab.ai as soon as the platform can handle the numbers he will bring.