Today at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, CEO Dick Costolo sat down with some members of the media to talk a bit about the state of the company. He rattled of plenty of stats, and also gave the all-important update on the state of the business.
Of note, Costolo confirmed that Twitter is in the process of rolling out Promoted Tweets in the stream to everyone — whether you’re following a particular advertiser or not. And that doesn’t just mean on Twitter.com (where this roll-out is starting), these Promoted Tweets will be going everywhere Tweets flow, Costolo said. Yes, that means not only Twitter’s own mobile apps, but third-party services as well.
This will allow Twitter to make money no matter where or how people are using the service. Costolo said this is important. “We would prefer you view the Tweets here instead of there because there’s more money over here — we don’t want to think of it that way,” he said.
It’s important to note that Twitter isn’t just blindly shoving these ads (which, let’s be clear, is exactly what they are) in everyones’ faces and hoping they stick. Twitter is still using signal analysis to determine which Tweets should be shown where. But it’s also important to reiterate that users will not have to be explicitly following these advertisers (as was the case previously) to see these Tweets.
This all plays into the broader message Costolo shared today: advertising is key. While he noted that Twitter has a few revenue sources, such as “fire hose” access, there is no plan to scale that business. “Our advertising method is the only one we need to be a big business,” he said.
In terms of the that platform, Costolo said that Twitter would begin testing a self-serve advertising service in the future. This will be white-labeled, open to trusted partners at first.
Costolo did leave a small window open, noting that the company will likely experiment here and there with other revenue-generating ideas. But again, it’s all about advertising. “We don’t think there’s anything more we need to do to make money,” he reiterated.