Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has purchased seven-person mobile app startup Yes, Inc. in a bid to acquire the top talent at the company. Yes makes apps that allow users to connect immediately with friends, focusing on short-form interactions. Twitter would not provide financial details of its deal to acquire Yes. It’s not clear how successful Yes was as a company, nor if it raised any venture capital.
Twitter’s new VP of Product, Keith Coleman, was CEO of Yes, Inc. and previously worked as a product manager for Google leading product management for Gmail and Gchat. Coleman starts at the social network on Monday and will take over as Twitter’s product chief immediately. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, welcomed Coleman to Twitter with a tweet.
Six different people have been employed in the post since 2007, four since the company’s initial public offering in November 2013. The role has been vacant since the summer. The previous VP of Product, Jeff Seibert, went back to his previous job at Fabric, a Twitter development platform, back in June. The VP before him, Kevin Weil, departed to join Instagram back in January. Twitter employees have been sharing the responsibility for the role.
Coleman does not appear to be a heavy Twitter user. Since joining the service in 2007, he has tweeted only 143 times to date. Yes, Inc.’s six other employees will also be joining the Twitter staff as Yes shuts down its own offerings. They are slated for design and product roles at the company.
Twitter has struggled in the face of new competition and mounting user complaints. The company’s user growth has hovered between flat and 2 percent since Dorsey took over as permanent CEO a little more than a year ago. This fall, several companies, including Salesforce.com Inc., Walt Disney Co., and Alphabet Inc. considered buying Twitter before backing away. Twitter has seen its share price drop 22 percent this year.
The company says that it is increasing its focus on video, but closed down its Vine video app earlier this year. Twitter also announced that it would cut 9 percent of its workforce to reduce expenses. However, Twitter’s fortunes may be turning as the company has seen increases in the number of daily users, in time spent on the site, and in impressions over the past couple of quarters.