Twitter Has Its Snapchat Stories Clone Because Elliott Management Group Wanted It

Sarah Perez, TechCrunch:

According to Twitter Director of Design Joshua Harris, the company’s delay to launch Stories was because Twitter was being “methodical in exploring how the format works for people on Twitter.”

That’s not exactly true. Twitter wasn’t years late because it was being careful about Fleets’ development. The reality was that Twitter had prioritized work on its core product over new features.

That’s been changing in recent months, thanks in part to activist investor Elliott Management Group, which took a sizable stake in Twitter earlier this year. It did so with a plan to push the company for more innovation and new executive leadership. (The company later struck a deal to spare Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s ousting, however.)

At the time of Elliott’s campaign, Twitter’s lack of Stories had been referenced as an area where the company had fallen behind social media rivals in terms of innovation.

Why haven’t you duplicated this feature from half a dozen other platforms, already? is a very strange definition of innovation, but it aligns with Elliott’s miserable reputation (via John Siracusa). Regardless of how you feel about Twitter’s take on the stories idea, I am starting to think the name “Fleet” was chosen very deliberately for the definition that can be found on Urban Dictionary.