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Twitter receives $800-million in fresh funding as user numbers soar

Social networking giant Twitter has received fresh funding to the tune of US$800-million.

According to Fortune magazine, roughly half of the investment will be put directly into Twitter with the other half being set aside to cash out extant shareholders.

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The funding is said to have come from high-profile investors including Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures.

Although this latest round of funding has seen Twitter valued at more than US$8-billion.

The financing comes in the midst of news that the social network’s user base is booming.

The company recently announced that it now has more than 100-million monthly active users, with massive increases in mobile usage.

“We’re seeing tremendous growth on mobile,” Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo said during an informal “State of the Union” update with reporters at the microblogging service’s headquarters in San Francisco.
Of those 100-million users more than half log onto the service on daily basis.

More than 400-million people visit the website monthly as compared with 250-million at the start of the year, according to figures Costolo provided from a Google analytics service.

“There are still a lot of people who don’t log into Twitter but use Twitter every day,” Costolo said. “They come and search or read pages.”

As many as 40 percent of Twitter users, however, are merely reading the site without actually posting on it.

“We are excited about that,” Costolo said of the growing ranks of people who peruse Twitter but don’t actually tweet.

“I think that is super healthy,” he continued. “Now we will see how to migrate them from this consumption experience to publishing.”

Twitter has had to completely overhaul it infrastructure to handle the furious growth it has experienced.

“Every time we innovated or added a new product the website had problems; the fail whale,” Costolo said. “We were at capacity.”

In comparison, Twitter “didn’t even blink” about two weeks ago when it hit a new record high of 8 900 tweets-per-second on the wings of news that singer Beyonce is pregnant.

“Now a big thing is surfacing all the content pouring in every day,” Costolo said. “We are at a billion tweets every five days and that continues to accelerate.”

Costolo said that the company is in a strong enough position not to feel any threat from search giant Google’s social offering Google+. This despite the fact that Google+ is the world’s fastest growing social network.

The latest round of funding could also mean that Twitter is under no pressure to go public with a stock offering.

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