Chief Executive Officer Linda Yaccarino said that social media platform X could see a turnaround in its financial fortunes as early as 2024. Yaccarino, also a former exec at NBCUniversal, commented in a wide-ranging interview at Vox Media’s Code conference. The appearance came as Yaccarino marked 100 days as CEO of the platform formerly known as Twitter. She has faced questions over her autonomy in the role and the company’s ability to court advertisers who have been wary of the rapid changes on the site and Musk’s controversial persona.
But X is making progress as it seeks to win back advertiser trust, she said. For example, it can now prevent ads from appearing next to content that might offend them, which did not exist before the takeover. She added that the company also has introduced new tools to monitor and counteract hate speech.
Yaccarino also defended the right of people to express themselves on the site and rejected the idea that freedom of speech should be limited. However, her comments were overshadowed by a separate interview with Yoel Roth, the former head of trust and safety at Twitter, who was fired last month after publicly criticizing the company’s lack of action on anti-Semitic content on its site.
The two interviews drew parallels to the troubled history of PayPal, founded in 1998 as a start-up for online banking and then merged with its fierce e-payments rival Confinity in 2000, creating the world’s first online payment system. The new PayPal grew into one of the largest internet companies and made its founder, PayPal chairman Elon Musk, a multi-billionaire.
Despite the success of PayPal, Musk continued to develop ambitious projects. In the late 1990s, he started a search for the “holographic brain” to control cars and computers, which he said would revolutionize transportation and business. The resulting technology, called BrainNet, failed to deliver on its promises, but Musk continued to pursue the concept.
In recent years, he has used the name X to refer to his various projects, including the SpaceX rocket and Tesla car company. But it was in the latter part of the decade that he focused on the X.com domain and its branding potential. He repurchased the site in 2017, explaining it had great sentimental value to him after losing control of it in the PayPal merger.
As for X, Yaccarino said the company is on track to see a profit in 2024 and noted that critical metrics such as time spent on the site are positively trending without offering specifics. She also pointed out that about 1,500 advertisers have returned in the past 12 weeks, and 90% of the top 100 have returned.