An Open Letter to Twitter Stakeholders
in short: Twitter can de-list from New York stock exchanges without Elon Musk acquiring 100% of the outstanding shares.
Approximately 5.5 years ago, I wrote An Open Letter to Jack Dorsey. This came with three recommendations for $TWTR:
Redesign the main Twitter experience to combat abuse.
Look for new products to launch.
If you aren’t satisfied with the results after #1 and #2, sell the company.
Twitter’s strategy over the past few years appears to have followed this basic outline.
A few key changes Twitter are likely to roll out in the near future should combat abuse. First is Birdwatch, a system where trusted users can add commentary to viral tweets that contain misinformation. I have seen various testers of the Birdwatch service comment publicly on its use, and it appears to function very well.
Second is rolling out the delayed send feature, currently only available as an option to Twitter Blue subscribers, as a mandatory part of the Twitter experience for non-paying customers. This should prevent “bots”, trolls, and other low-value comments from being the first visible responses to popular Twitter accounts.
A third feature is the removal of the algorithmic
What’s happening feature. There are a variety of reasons this should be removed. The most obvious reason is that the content is low-quality at its best, and actively harmful at its worst. The trends are populated by brigading, gossip, fake-news, etc. It is not a healthy part of the Twitter user experience, and must be removed or replaced.
There are additional features which can and should be launched, but without insider information, I do not know if Twitter plans to do so in the near future.
As far as launching a secret product that is not affiliated with the Twitter brand … well, I don’t know anything about that. To an extent, that is a tautology based on the definition of the word “secret”.
However, if there is going to be a shareholder vote regarding accepting a tender offer, the executives at $TWTR have a moral (and likely a legal) obligation to inform shareholders of any projects in-development that would have a material impact on the future revenue streams of the business.
the Newslettr assumes that it will become aware of any secret projects before the end of the shareholder meeting scheduled for May 25, 2022.
As far as an acquisition: Elon Musk wasn’t wealthy enough to purchase $TWTR five years ago, but he is now. He is the ideal acquirer of the company if it cannot stand on its own.
As a shareholder, I would prefer a partial de-listing of the company. It would not trade on the New York Stock Exchange, but on a stock exchange located in San Francisco. The key innovation — the stock would be traded at most one day every three months, and there would be a minimum holding for non-employee shareholders.
Being listed on a different stock exchange would free Twitter from many of the obligations it feels to “the markets”. It could also free employees from restrictions related to trading on material non-public information before earnings are announced. While they would be unable to transact in the stock, nobody else would be able to do so either.
In a previous edition of the Newslettr, we conveyed the opinion that, with proper management, $TWTR should be worth substantially more than $54.20 per share.
As a stakeholder, if I were forced to choose between profiting on my investment and having Twitter be properly managed, I would choose proper management. However, I would prefer to not have to choose. I would prefer to continue to own shares in a $TWTR holding company not listed on any New York-based stock exchange.
Signed, Alexander Power, $TWTR shareholder