Twitter CEO says “The World is Big Enough for Facebook and Twitter
As reported by Ben Parr on Mashable.com
The Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco has just started, but the conference has already brought some heavy hitters on stage, including Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Paypal CEO Scott Thompson.
Just moments ago, Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Evan Williams took the stage with Federated Media CEO John Batelle to discuss revenue models, Facebook, potential acquisitions, and Twitter’s (potentially stagnating) growth.
Here are some of the highlights:
– On revenue models: They’ve done a lot of thinking about it, but they’re spending “approximately 97% of their efforts” on perfecting and growing the Twitter platform. Basically, he was coy about the company’s revenue strategy. John brought up the idea of “TweetSense” and “TweetWords” (a play on the popular Google AdSense and AdWords platforms), but Evan didn’t admit to anything.
However, he did say that they are optimistic on revenue, with so many brand advertisers and “theoretically monetizable information” available on the Twitter platform, the Twitter CEO isn’t worried about generating significant revenue in the near future.
– On Twitter’s growth: Evan admitted that Twitter’s U.S. traffic has stalled the last few months, but that some new features (such as Twitter Lists) should help solve this problem. He also pointed to international and mobile growth.
– On user retention: He stated that they have never been very good at finding that “killer application” for using Twitter for individuals, but that is now their focus. Twitter Lists is a big way to address this problem, Evan quickly added. They see it as a problem, but one that they can fix with some focus.
– On potential acquisition: Twitter is going for a long-term strategy rather than a “grow and be acquired” strategy. Part of it is that Twitter has potential, and part of it is that Evan Williams doesn’t feel the same pressure other entrepreneurs have to sell, since he’s already cashed out once before with the sale of Blogger to Google. He doesn’t believe Twitter’s interests align with being part of a bigger company.
– On Facebook: Evan discussed the increasing role of Facebook as a competitor to Twitter, but summed it up with this: “The world is big enough for Facebook and Twitter.”
– On Google Wave: He thinks Google Wave is awesome. He doesn’t know what Google Wave will become, though.
– On developers and revenue: Evan made it clear that developers can reliably invest in their platform. He believes developers are crucial to the Twitter experience.
– On Twitter Lists and the suggested user list: “It’s time to retire the suggested user list.” He thinks they need to do something better and that it has indeed created a distortion in terms of influence.
What are your thoughts?
Do you believe there’s room for both Facebook and Twitter?
Image Credit: Joi via Flick
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