Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino Outlines “Twitter 2.0” Vision

After taking over from Elon Musk, Linda Yaccarino wants Twitter to become the world's most 'accurate information source'.

New Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino has revealed her vision for “Twitter 2.0”, as she looks to revitalize the social media giant following its brief but rocky stewardship by outspoken billionaire Elon Musk.

Yaccarino was announced to be taking the helm at Twitter last week, with Musk stepping away to refocus on his other projects, namely electric car giant Tesla and space exploration company SpaceX.

Twitter will still be owned by Musk through his X Corp parent company, though Yaccarino is understood to be being given complete control as she looks to transform the platform in 2023 and also takes over as X Corp CEO.

Twitter 2.0 Looks Like a Tall Order

Central to Yaccarino’s “transformation” mission is a campaign to establish the platform as a “global town square for communication”. This is a vision she apparently shares with her predecessor, Musk, though his stance as a self-described “free speech absolutist” meant that in practice Twitter became an unmoderated disinformation battleground during his tenure.

Kicking things off with a series of tweets, Yaccarino has promised nothing less than to reinvent Twitter as “the world’s most accurate real-time information source” while simultaneously  enabling an “unfiltered exchange of information and open dialogue.”

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In practice, her top priority as new CEO may be to conduct damage control, with December 2022 data showing Twitter revenue to have fallen by 40% year-on-year. With advertisers having largely deserted the platform, the former NBCUniversal marketing boss seems to have her work cut out for her steadying the ship.

Twitter vs Europe a Key Battleground for Business Future

In particular,  Yaccarino must navigate Twitter’s tricky relationship with European regulators. This May, Musk pulled Twitter out of the EU’s voluntary disinformation code, though the body will begin enforcing its guidelines as laws from August 25th when they become part of the Digital Services Act.

“You can run but you can’t hide…Our teams will be ready for enforcement,” warned Thierry Breton, the EU’s Commissioner for Internal Market, in a not-so-thinly veiled tweet.

The conflict highlights just how far Twitter’s reputation has fallen, with critics saying the platform’s lack of moderation means it’s a breeding ground for fake accounts, disinformation and propaganda, and hate speech. Underlining this, a recent report by the BBC’s Global Disinformation team found there were “hundreds” of Russian and Chinese propaganda accounts thriving on Twitter.

Among other things, Yaccarino may find it difficult to bring Twitter’s profits back into the black if it’s struggling to operate in a major market such as Europe.

New CEO’s Track Record Offers Hope?

While Yaccarino stopped short of saying specifically how she planned to bring Twitter back to (more reputable) life, she does come with a strong CV and track record of organization change.

During her time at NBCUniversal, where she rose to Head of Advertising, she saw the broadcaster through a difficult period as it grappled with new content consumption realities. Specifically, she helped it come to terms with the digital streaming revolution, overhauling its ad sales model and launching its Peacock platform.

She is joined in the upper echelons of a revamped Twitter leadership by Joe Benarroch, formerly NBCUniversal SVP of Communications, Advertising and Partnerships. Mr Benarroch’s CV also includes a stint at Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram.

With resumes like these, it would seem foolish to write off Twitter’s new flock before they’ve even had a chance. Still, not only does Musk’s specter still loom large over Twitter, but his particular brand of “free speech” may take some time to undo.

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Written by:
James Laird is a technology journalist with 10+ years experience working on some of the world's biggest websites. These include TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Lifehacker, Gizmodo and The Sun, as well as industry-specific titles such as ITProPortal. His particular areas of interest and expertise are cyber security, VPNs and general hardware.
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