Twitter CFO Anthony Noto
Photo courtesy: Brian Ach—Getty Images
By Verne Kopytoff
November 25, 2014

Note to executives: Beware of using Twitter to send private notes to colleagues.

Anthony Noto, Twitter’s chief financial officer, showed why on Monday when he accidentally posted a message on Twitter for everyone to see suggesting an acquisition of another company.

“I still think we should buy them,” Noto wrote. “He is on your schedule for Dec. 15 or 16 — we will need to sell him. I have a plan.”

His message, later deleted, immediately raised speculation about the unidentified acquisition target. But more importantly, it hammered home a frequent complaint about Twitter: Its direct messaging service is confusing to use and occasionally leads to embarrassing mistakes like Noto’s. There’s even a name for it, DM fail, for direct message failure.

Noto, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was hired in July to help improve the company’s lagging financial performance. Acquisitions would be an obvious part of the strategy and, in fact, are relatively common for Twitter, which most recently bought Mitro, a password security firm.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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