Twitter’s huge potential still remains just that; potential not captured. It would not surprise investors if the next quarterly results continue with a string of disappointments. The expectation at this point is for lackluster performance.
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The interim CEO Jack Dorsey is a placeholder until the right executive can be found that can restore investor confidence. That confidence will only return when there is clarity about how Twitter will leverage its huge user base combined with a clear vision of how Twitter can continue to be relevant. The opportunity is there but Twitter cannot waste time as competitors continue to focus on growing their market share at Twitter¹s expense.
Make changes to encourage repeat use of the platform
Twitter needs to make the product easier to use with compelling reasons for repeat use. The key is encouraging engagement.
Innovate, innovate, innovate
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Twitter needs to think with creativity. The announcement this week that the 140-character limit for direct messages has now been increased to 10,000 characters is the type of change that needs to occur. Twitter cannot be cautious. Time to break the mold and innovate.
Inform the public that MAU is not the only success metric
Twitter needs to lay out a clear plan on how it plans to capture opportunity from logout users, Define the metrics that paint a more complete picture of the business.
Define a clear strategic plan
- What’s the strategy to engage users?
- How will Twitter compete against Instagram? Against Facebook? Against Snapchat?
- How will Twitter increase advertising revenue without alienating users?
- What is the specific plan to increase usability?
- How will Twitter deal with cyber bullying?
- How can Twitter become more of a timeline of events rather than one-off bursts of commentary?
- How will the company measure its success beyond Monthly Active Users?
These and many other questions need to be thoughtfully addressed by management. Ambiguity won’t do; investors are demanding clarity and an operational vision that resonates. Investors are waiting and are quickly losing patience.
Read MoreHere’s Twitter’s biggest problem
Twitter’s user base is the envy of the Internet and they have the opportunity to leverage huge reach into huge revenues. Twitter has a great problem — hundreds of millions of users waiting for the company to give them another reason to be more active in using the product. The change of management is a first step towards resetting the company’s path and restoring investor confidence.
Commentary by Michael A. Yoshikami, the CEO and founder of Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California. He is also a CNBC contributor.
Disclosure: Michael Yoshikami does not own shares of Twitter and has no other business relationship with the company. But Destination Wealth Management may buy Twitter for clients.