Nothing Twitter is doing is working | The Verge

Twitter reported its quarterly earnings today, and while it reinstated positive user growth (it shrank in Q1), they apparently have revenue problems to defend now.

In this article, Newton catalogs all the changes Twitter has made to its service since Dorsey took the reins from Costolo--the CEO shuffle, Moments, TV ads, etc--all of which have failed to move the needle with potential users. 

Individually, most of the changes Twitter has made to its core product have been welcome, if overdue. The company has not alienated the service’s core users in large numbers — no small feat. And Twitter still feels as culturally relevant as ever. But collectively, changes to the product have failed to broaden the appeal of the core service, even as its rivals continue to grow.
— Casey Newton, the Verge

Despite Twitter's very public problems and its role as the default public square for the internet, it remains hesitant to make significant changes to its core product or clearly announce their intentions. They know they have a highly opinionated and fickle user base, and a tenuous-at-best relationship with developers. Dorsey's public statements on rumored or leaked upcoming changes (going back to his screenshot about the removal of the 140-character limit) are qualified by saying they'll let developers know "well in advance" of any major changes.

So far, under Dorsey's tenure, new "banner features"--like when Instagram introduced video, or Snapchat introduced Stories--have been non-existent. Regardless of whether new features are being built inside Twitter, it isn't being communicated to the public or the press. That needs to change.

The perception of Twitter suffers because of this opacity, similar to how the "Apple is no longer innovative" narrative surfaces every four years when they reach a lull in their product cycles. Unlike Apple, Twitter has far more to lose by being opaque. Twitter is openly competing against Facebook for live video--and Facebook is not only winning at perception, but also at strategy and execution.

If Twitter is working on new ways to get current users excited, and new users intrigued, they need to be more open. Just like they expect us to be.