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Twitter embraces remote work as user and revenue numbers hit new heights
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

Shares of Twitter jumped on Thursday when it was announced that the company passed the billion-dollar revenue threshold for the first time last quarter, as the platform’s daily user base jumped from 145 million to 152 million as 2019 wound to a close.

This isn’t altogether surprising, as Twitter has been a hotbed of political deliberation during the leadup to the highly-contested Democratic primaries, though both revenue and user figures did come in at the high end of analyst expectations.

But perhaps the numbers that will have the biggest impact on Twitter’s long-term prospects, both as a social media platform and an employer, is that all of these new users has increased Twitter’s operating expenses 22 percent to $854 million, even as revenues rose 11 percent. That’s because it takes a lot of staff to handle record traffic on the platform, as well as to “clean up” the political misinformation that has beleaguered the company’s reputation even as it grows in popularity.

All of this leads to two differing but converging stories surrounding the rise in Twitter’s popularity: On the one hand, more people are using Twitter, which will have an impact on employer networks leveraged by avid users of the platform. On the other hand, Twitter needs more people in-house, which is posing difficulties as the company competes for talent in the increasingly competitive San Francisco tech market.

Even Twitter is embracing remote work

“Our concentration in San Francisco is not serving us any longer,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said following the revenue announcement. “We’ll strive to be a far more distributed workforce which will help us improve our execution.”

Building on this message, a Twitter spokesperson told Protocol that “There’s incredible talent around the world and we have to be able to work in a way that supports them as employees regardless of where they live.”

The move to decentralization is a larger trend that’s happening across enterprises, as teams might lose out on employing the best talent for a specific role if they only limit their scope to a specific locale. The cost of living in established tech hubs like San Francisco is also famously off the charts, and employees who do work locally will require higher salaries to live comfortably. It therefore only makes sense for Twitter to expand their network and scope, balancing their operating costs while also expanding their talent pool.

More Twitter users, more network congestion

Returning to Twitter’s skyrocketing user count, the platform’s popularity – which isn’t likely to let up as Twitter continues to be a hotbed for increasingly heated political discourse – will also impact employers beyond their San Francisco headquarters.

As we highlighted in the 2020 Enterprise App Report Card, the text-based nature of Tweets makes Twitter throughput relatively light on enterprise networks compared to other social media tools. But even if the platform’s material impact on network capacity is relatively light, it’s still a potential distraction among a growing population of the workforce. Of course IT teams aren’t meant to act as “app police,” but if they are noticing a rising tide of Twitter users on their network in tandem with a lack of productivity, teams may want to consider modifying their app policies.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: network performance monitoring, network performance, network traffic, network congestion, remote workforce, remote workers, remote work, decentralization, enterprise decentralization, enterprise networks, social media, twitter

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