Twitter has decided to celebrate its fifth birthday this month with a bit of shakeup of its executive team – bringing Jack Dorsey back as executive chairman and with co-founder Biz Stone leaving his day-to-day role at the ever-growing social networking site.
Dorsey left Twitter in 2008 to create and serve as CEO of Square, an application used to turn a smartphone into a mobile cash register. He will continue to lead Square as he moves back into the Twitter world, where he will bring his experience in how to create products that are “approachable to consumers.” This goal will be more easily accomplished due to the fact that he has taken over Evan Williams’ post-CEO role of heading up product development.
Upon the announcement of the leadership changes, The Wall Street Journal raised the question of what will become of the programmers who have built tools such as Tweetdeck and other smartphone apps for the service. The publication noted that Twitter has raised concern about the future of its “ecosystem” as it has spent the past few months buying up or building its own products for the iPhone and other mobile devices. Dorsey faces the challenge of using developers to improve its own service, while also seeking to decrease the importance of third-party services to the core Twitter experience.
Dorsey said he will push developers to move beyond “basic” Twitter services, inspiring developers “to create interesting and useful applications.” He said the most interesting products being developed on the Internet do not involve significantly new technologies, but the combining of significant ones.
Excited by services such as Foursquare that combine geo-location with check-ins, Dorsey seems eager to bridge the gap between Twitter and the mobile app industry. And he will be able to use his smartphone savvy generated from building Square to do just that.
And as with any five-year-old, there’s much developing left for Twitter to do - both in-house and with the help of third parties. But with Dorsey’s return to the helm, the company has finally reached beyond baby steps in building a cohesive user experience over all platforms.