Will Elon behave? —

Linda Yaccarino’s vision for Twitter 2.0 emerges

Staff should be ready for "hand-to-hand combat" as company preps new ad offering.

A Twitter logo on a phone with a shattered screen.
Getty Images | Thomas Trutschel

Twitter’s new chief executive, Linda Yaccarino, is preparing a series of measures to bring back advertisers who had abandoned the platform under Elon Musk’s ownership, including introducing a video ads service, wooing more celebrities, and raising headcount.

The former NBCUniversal advertising head, who started as chief executive on June 5, is seeking to launch full-screen, sound-on video ads that would be shown to users scrolling through Twitter’s new short-video feed, according to three people familiar with the situation.

Yaccarino also plans to meet media partners, publishers, and talent agencies in a bid to bring celebrities, political figures, and other content creators to the platform.

The hope is that with content from high-profile names, Twitter can sell more advertising, and also facilitate sponsorship and brand deals between advertisers and creators.

In a meeting earlier this month with Twitter’s global sales team, Yaccarino told staffers the company was going to have to work hard to win back the trust of advertisers, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.

She said they would need to deploy “hand-to-hand combat”—persuading big brands in person rather than from behind their desks—as part of the effort, the person said.

“I do believe that they’re going to have superior ad product instantly [under Yaccarino],” said Lou Paskalis, an advertising veteran and chief executive of AJL Advisory. “The issue is content moderation. And it exists in two dimensions. For everybody else. And for Elon.”

“The hope is Linda will create a buffer between what he does, and a brand-safe environment on Twitter,” he added.

This account of Yaccarino’s vision for the platform is based on interviews with Twitter staffers, people familiar with her thinking and brands, advertisers, and ad agencies. Twitter declined to comment.

The plans are designed to attract more ad dollars as Twitter seeks to reverse its fortunes under the direction of Yaccarino, an advertising heavyweight known for her industry relationships.

After Musk’s $44 billion takeover, many big advertisers slashed or cut ad spending altogether in response to his relaxed stance on content moderation, erratic posts, and unorthodox leadership style. This wiped about 50 percent off Twitter’s $5 billion-a-year revenues, Musk has said.

Channel Ars Technica