Despite two of its original founders leaving, pressure from competing social sites Facebook and Google+, and a government antitrust inquiry, Twitter executive Dick Costolo says the company is doing better than ever.
"We’re growing faster than we’ve ever grown," said Costolo, Twitter's chief executive at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference on Tuesday.
According to Costolo, people send out a billion tweets every five days with around 400 million people visiting Twitter.com (not including people visiting the site through Twitter apps) each month.
Although the figures are promising, Twitter has only recently began its monetization efforts and has yet to release any advertising or monetary figures to confirm the company is profitable.
However, Costolo did note that advertising efforts on Twitter are growing rapidly, with a seven-fold increase in the amount of advertisers using Twitter for promotions this year. Last year, there were only a few hundred advertisers on Twitter.
Costolo also confirmed the company is exploring new monetary streams like commerce, for example. Many companies are using Twitter to post promotional and push sales, but Twitter rarely sees any money from these transactions. If Twitter were introduce commerce channels within the site, it could potentially establish a new revenue channel. "There’s a commerce opportunity there for us to take advantage of," Costolo said.
Interestingly enough, Costolo admitted that Google+ does pose a threat to Twitter and that the company must remain focused in order to compete. Costolo and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey both agree that Twitter future's is based on accessibilty. "We want Twitter to be the world in your pocket," Costolo said.
The executive mentioned that the strategy does not mean blatantly copying features from other social networks like Google+. "When you look in the side view mirror and you say Twitter’s going to be the world in your pocket, now with video chat, you lose your way," he said.
Beyond the challenges of monetization and differentiation from other social network challenges, Twitter faces pressure from the Federal Trade Commission for potentially anti-trust behavior towards third party developers.
Costolo also took the opportunity to comment on the investigation for the first time publically. "It’s something we have to engage them with and we’ll do that and we’ll provide them with all the information they want," he said.
Finally, Costolo acknowledged questions about the original founders leaving when he said, "The media has focused on the founders coming and going, but what has really happened within the company is we’ve been building out the management team."
Currently, the management team includes Jack Dorsey and executives from Google, Pixar, and Palm amongst others.
(Via NY Times)