- JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
The two managers who oversaw the creation of Twitter Moments are no longer at the company, the latest reflection of the stream of departures that the struggling business continues to grapple with.
Madhu Muthukumar, the product manager for Moments, left last week to join Facebook-owned Oculus. And Vijay Pandurangan, who oversaw the team of engineers responsible for building Moments, left Twitter in March, according to his LinkedIn page.
The departures are the latest signs of Twitter’s challenges in retaining talent and of its continuing quest to revamp a 10-year old product that many mainstream users find confusing and difficult to use.
Twitter launched Moments with great fanfare in October. The product, which provides a curated collection of the best tweets and videos related to breaking news and other real-time events like sports, won prominent placement in a central tab on Twitter’s mobile app.
A ‘shift in our thinking’
The product is a bet by Twitter that it can attract a broader audience and boost engagement by making its service easier and more compelling to non-techie users.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called Moments a “bold new experience” that represents a “real shift in our thinking.”
But eight months after its launch, it’s not clear that Moments has had much of an impact on Twitter’s business.
The company’s total monthly users, which totaled 310 million at the end of March, has increased by only 1% from the level before Moments launched. In the US, Twitter’s monthly users have actually decreased by 1 million users during that period.
Twitter’s stock is trading at all-time lows as investors wonder whether Dorsey, who splits his time doing double-duty as CEO of mobile-payments company Square, will be able to revive Twitter’s fortunes.
The company continues to make improvements and update Moments. On Thursday, Twitter announced a partnership with Spotify, in which Spotify music clips can be played within Moments.
A Twitter representative said in a statement that the company “continues to invest heavily in Moments. We have a strong team in place with exciting updates ahead.”
Still, the departure of the two Twitter staffers who helped create Moments does not seem like an encouraging sign.
Dorsey has said that recruiting new talent is one of his top priorities. He’s added several new faces to the board of directors. But his ranks of executives and managers continue to experience high-level departures. Jana Messerschmidt, head of business development, and Nathan Hubbard, head of media and commerce, are planning to leave the company, Recode reported on Thursday.