Esther Crawford’s exit from Twitter throws the company’s ambitions to attract more creators into disarray. The former director of product management, who was laid off over the weekend, was heavily involved in money-making features for creators and other bets, including subscription service Twitter Blue. Even with Crawford championing those initiatives, Twitter still had a long hill to climb before creators—Twitter’s super-users, like social media consultant Matt Navarra—would name Twitter as their go-to platform for making money. Crawford’s departure makes that incline even steeper.
Crawford’s social and creator roots run deep. She joined Twitter after it bought the video-sharing app startup Squad that she co-founded. And before Musk’s late October takeover, she led a team of product managers building out creator and crypto tools, launching money-making features such as tipping, subscriptions to individual creators known as Super Follows, and tickets to live conversations, which have since been discontinued. More recently, Crawford was the one who set up a private Zoom call between Musk and several creators, such as tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee, in December. She didn’t respond to a request for comment.