Twitter Heading for 200 Million Users: Report

Twitter is heading toward 200 million users by the end of 2010, leading to changes in the company's executive structure.

Twitter could nearly pass 200 million users by the end of 2010 if it continues adding new ones at a rate of 370,000 a day.

That calculation comes courtesy of an Oct. 30 article in The New York Times, which pegged the microblogging Website's current user base at 175 million. With 60 days left in 2010, that puts Twitter on track to reach 197.5 million users by the end of the year-or even pass the 200 million mark, given the natural fluctuations in people joining and leaving.

The article quotes Evan Williams, who recently resigned as Twitter's CEO, about the meteoric rise in users and attendant media scrutiny: "We were just hanging on by our fingernails to a rocket ship."

Williams recently moved himself from CEO to the head of product strategy. "I am most satisfied when pushing product direction," he wrote in an Oct. 4 posting on Twitter's corporate blog. "Building things is my passion, and I've never been more excited or optimistic about what we have to build." Williams touted his replacement, Twitter COO Dick Costolo, as effective at "devising and executing our revenue efforts" while "making the trains run on time"-both skills necessary for a growing company.

During the CTIA Wireless 2010 conference in March, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone discussed what he perceived as microblogging's impact on the world at large. "Allowing people to communicate can have a positive impact: You have more of a sense of yourself as a global citizen," he told the audience during a keynote discussion. "We're the facilitators of this open exchange of information; we just need to keep the service running."

Twitter has also managed to capitalize on the rising popularity of smartphones, issuing apps for a variety of mobile platforms. On Oct. 28, it launched Twitter for Windows Phone, allowing owners of the new Windows Phone 7 handsets to broadcast to the world their lunch preferences or celebrity sightings. Twitter's aggressiveness in developing apps for BlackBerry, Google Android and the Apple iPhone has attracted the irritation of third-party developers.

Twitter's rise in popularity, however, has come with the inevitable security concerns. In late September, another worm hit the service, snaring some high-profile users before the company disabled the malicious link. Security experts also recommend that users not tweet information such as vacation times, which could give burglars a timeframe for a break-in, or excessively personal details.