Twitter Plans to Generate Cash with Business Tools, Services

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2009-05-19 Print this article Print

Twitter will not rely on advertising dollars to fuel its future growth, according to company co-founder Biz Stone, who suggests that tools and businesses services will provide the necessary revenue. Twitter has experienced explosive growth in the three years since its initial rollout, with some 9.3 million users in March 2009.

Twitter, the microblogging Website that lets its community post about their lives in 140-character "tweets," will earn revenue through tools and services as opposed to advertising dollars, according to a May 19 Reuters report.

"[Advertising is] just not quite as interesting to us," Stone said to the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York from San Francisco, through a video link.

"There are no people at Twitter who know anything about advertising or work in advertising," Stone said, according to the Reuters report. He added that the size of Twitter's staff would double by the end of 2009.

According to research company ComScore, Twitter grew approximately 131 percent in March, with about 9.3 million site visitors, up from 4.3 million in February. Twitter's growth attracted rampant speculation that a major player such as Google would step in to purchase the 3-year-old site. In 2008, Facebook reportedly made a $500 million offer, but was turned down.

"We were joking in the office that if this growth rate continues week over week, we'll run out of people on Planet Earth to sign up to Twitter by the end of the year," Stone said, according to Reuters.

In response to the buzz, Stone blogged in April that Twitter was in discussions "on a variety of subjects" with unnamed companies, but that the short-term goal would nonetheless continue to remain an "independent company."

The enterprise has cautiously embraced Twitter, with adding Twitter to its Service Cloud. The Microsoft-sponsored site ExecTweets was previously seen as one of the primary ways in which Twitter would generate revenue. Twitter also announced plans to offer commercial accounts at some point in 2009.

Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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