Jack Dorsey calls Twitter the 'people's news network'

It's a platform for 'news and talk,' not a social network.

One of the reasons that Twitter has struggled with its investors is because nobody, not even its leaders, really knows what Twitter is for. In a memo sent around to employees, CEO Jack Dorsey seems to have stumbled across his vision for the embattled company. The note, which was sent to celebrate a year running the company, describes the site as "the people's news network," with a combination of "news and talk."

The document was procured by Bloomberg, which has been posting regular stories about Twitter's internal problems. Last week, the newswire reported that Dorsey was locked in a three-way battle for the service's soul, fighting CFO Anthony Noto and co-founder Ev Williams. The latter is pushing for a sale, while Noto has seized power and is dragging Twitter into live video -- rather than as a "news and talk" network.

Dorsey also says that the last 12 months have been spent "getting to the truth" of what Twitter is. Now that he has arrived at this mission statement, he wants the company to "strive to be the first" whenever news breaks. Of course, given how much news is shared on Twitter, we're not sure immediacy has ever been a real issue for the company. Compared to, say, the undercurrent of racism and abuse that dogs the platform and garners plenty of negative headlines in the press.

In the short term, it's not clear if Dorsey's memo was simply a generous note to his employees or something of a power play. After all, if you've been recently criticized for a "passive" leadership style, then sending a take-charge memo may help to beat back that perception. It also doesn't help that several would-be buyers took a quick look at Twitter as a going concern and decided to walk away.