Twitter is not a social network says Twitter Vice President for Business and Corporate development Kevin Thau, it’s all about news.
“Twitter is news. It is information. Twitter is actually transforming the nature of news. It’s transforming the way you are consuming information and think about news. When it comes to breaking news I don’t think there has ever been a platform as interesting as Twitter,” he said.
Speaking at Nokia World 2010 in London, Thau also spoke about how it has become the norm that when there is a “disaster or revolution it gets broadcast on Twitter first”.
Thau noted that now for the first time, Tweets are becoming part of history. The US Library of Congress takes a dedicated, specialised feed from Twitter, officially storing every single tweet for posterity.
He said that Twitter’s attempts at monetisation via promoted Tweets is “working really, really well”.
“Monetisation is something we have started to emphasise quite a bit at the company,” he said.
The service, which now boasts 145-million users and is the world’s 9th biggest website (Alexa), is growing faster outside the US, than in the US. Upwards of 60% of Twitter’s traffic now originates from outside US. Thau noted that Twitter was “exploding” in countries like Japan, India, Brazil and Indonesia.
Thau mentioned that twitter.com’s unique user figure stood at around 210-million, which means millions of people use the service to just browse Tweets, rather actively use the service to Tweet themselves.
He also spoke about how the company’s “mobile DNA” is still a strong part of its culture, and how the company doesn’t make a big distinction between their mobile site and desktop site.
“We are an example of a successful internet company that started as mobile first. We started off as an SMS service. We won’t treat mobile any differently from how we treat our website. We don’t have a separate strategy for monetisation on mobile. It will be the same as that of the web,” he said.