Twitter Aas to spread wings with cash boost


    Investors have ploughed a hefty $200m (£128m) into Twitter as the online messaging service embarks on a new push “to grow as a company and a business”.
    The significant new round of funding suggests there is confidence that the site – yet to announce a profit – will find a way to make money from tweets, which are sent at a rate of 95 million a day.
    Twitter has had an active 12 months, almost tripling its payroll to 350 and recording 100 million new user accounts.
    It also began to offer advertisers a promoted tweet option, in which they pay to have their message appear on users’ screens.
    But analysts still question the long-term business plan of Twitter, which has raised about £230m since its creation in 2007.
    “Any organisation that has 175 million users and counting is valuable,” commented Christer Holloman, new media entrepreneur and Sky News Tech Talk blogger.”
    “What is slightly worrying is that they haven’t figured out by now how to make money from them.”
    “They have launched promoted tweets, but I can’t see that they’ve had a big impact with that.”
    Mr Holloman suggested investors would be placing faith in Twitter’s valuable asset, which was its user base, but said the business would face two main challenges in 2011.
    “Twitter’s number one priority will be to monetise its service, but at the same time it will also need to find a way to communicate its benefits to the general public, and not just the media savvy.”
    According to a post on the Twitter blog, the company is now seeing “tremendous growth in the creative ways businesses and organisations are leveraging Twitter”.
    It announced the creation of a revamped Twitter Business site which outlines the different advertising options available to firms, including promoted accounts and trending topics.
    With the weight of private investor cash behind it, Twitter will be able to delay an anticipated stock exchange float.
    Such a move would likely bring in millions of dollars, but also see Twitter come under pressure to make shareholders money rather than focus solely on innovation.
    Along with the cash injection, Twitter revealed it had hired two new members to its board of directors.
    IPad app creator Mike McCue and digital advertising guru David Rosenblatt will join the team as it embarks on a crucial year.
    True to his company’s preferred form of communication, Twitter’s chief executive Dick Costolo welcomed the news in 140 characters.
    “Psyched! Two new board members & Kleiner Perkins will help grow Twitter to infinity & beyond,” he tweeted.
    Source: Sky News