Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

Dozens of Twitter workers throughout gross sales and engineering departments have been laid off final week, together with one in every of Musk’s direct reviews 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 a minimum of 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 principal feed inside every week — a part of his plan to repair what he has publically known as “the worst advert relevance on Earth.” (The Info first reported that recent cuts hit the gross sales workforce final week.)

Musk’s plan is to alter Twitter’s advert focusing on to work like Google’s search adverts, which goal primarily by key phrases which might be looked for, somewhat than a consumer’s exercise and profile knowledge. It’s an strategy that works nicely for a search engine — the place individuals go to specific particular intent for locating one thing — and has helped Google construct one of the worthwhile companies of all time. However it hasn’t labored for a social media enterprise to this point.

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 imagine 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 have been laid off final Friday.

Right here is the place I’ll caveat that Musk gave an analogous deadline to revamp Twitter Blue when he first purchased the corporate that wasn’t met. He may additionally change his thoughts about how adverts ought to work on Twitter. He didn’t reply to an e mail asking for remark.

Enhancing Twitter’s adverts has been a key focus of Musk’s since he purchased the corporate. He has appropriately identified that Twitter’s adverts are much less personalised and efficient than its opponents. (As my colleague Nilay Patel likes to say, critiquing the Musk period of Twitter is in no way 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:

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