BEFORE Jack Dorsey helped found Twitter, the social-media firm known for snappy, rapid-fire updates, he worked briefly as a masseur. More recently, Mr Dorsey has been trying to massage away the aches and pains that afflict his creation. He returned as the firm’s chief executive in July 2015, taking over from Dick Costolo, who presided over a period of slowing growth and a string of departures by senior executives.

Twitter’s problems have continued despite Mr Dorsey’s ministrations. The biggest is that it has largely stopped growing. Its tally of monthly users, at around 313m, is barely rising. Americans who use the service via their smartphones spend around 2.8 minutes on it each day, which is around a third less than they did two years ago and far less than they spend on rival apps, such as Facebook and Snapchat. In the next quarter, revenues are expected to fall. Even though sales will probably increase for the full year, a quarterly drop is worrying for an internet company which is a household name and only ten years old. 

In bringing back Mr Dorsey, who was pushed out in 2008, Twitter’s board was betting that his earlier knack...Continue reading