Dozens of Twitter workers throughout gross sales and engineering departments had been laid off final week, together with one among Musk’s direct experiences who was managing engineering for Twitter’s adverts enterprise, based on firm sources and social media posts from affected workers seen by The Verge. This implies Musk has finished 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 foremost 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 vary Twitter’s advert focusing on to work like Google’s search adverts, which goal primarily by key phrases which can be looked for, quite than a person’s exercise and profile information. It’s an strategy that works effectively for a search engine — the place folks go to precise particular intent for locating one thing — and has helped Google construct one of the vital worthwhile companies of all time. However it hasn’t labored for a social media enterprise so 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 consider 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, client, and gross sales orgs had 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 electronic mail asking for remark.
Enhancing Twitter’s adverts has been a key focus of Musk’s since he purchased the corporate. He has accurately identified that Twitter’s adverts are much less customized and efficient than its rivals. (As my colleague Nilay Patel likes to say, critiquing the Musk period of Twitter is on no account an endorsement of the earlier regime.) However it’s unclear if altering focusing on to be keyword-driven like Google adverts will really enhance the standard of Twitter’s promoting, as others with a greater understanding of the trade-offs than me have identified: