RealTime CrunchUp: Conversation With Twitter COO Dick Costolo

dcOpening our RealTime CrunchUp event today in San Francisco is Twitter COO Dick Costolo. Our own Michael Arrington and Steve Gillmor are sitting down with Costolo for a 30 minute conversation.

Twitter is one of the hottest players in the realtime field right now. And it has a $1 billion valuation, which has been the source of much controversy. Twitter also recently signed search deals with both Microsoft and Google.

Easily the most interesting bit of information Costolo offered up during the talk was that Twitter will soon turn on advertisements. This is surprising since in the past Twitter has said that would likely not be a part of the revenue model. But recent changes to Twitter’ TOS suggested something like this could be coming. And other more recent comments from the company have suggested the same thing. But Costolo’s comments were very clear, “Twitter will have an advertising business, ready in the near future, and available to partners.

Costolo talked quite a bit about Twitter’s revenue model. When Mike noted that internal documents leaked this summer indicated Twitter was looking for 25 million users, $4 millon in revenue, and 75 employees by the end of this year, Costolo noted that they were “above and beyond” across those numbers across the board.

When Mike pushed about the $4 million number, Costolo would not give a specific number, but reiterated that they were certainly beyond $4 million already. He also once again confirmed that the search deals with both Microsoft and Google are bringing Twitter money, though he declined to state how much.

Costolo also talked a bit about Twitter’s freshly turned-on Geolocation API. “The opportunity around Geo is huge,” he said. He notes that the idea of the “check-in” (as opposed to location always being on) is proving to be a powerful thing thanks to services like Foursquare. Now that it’s live, Geolocation is going to be very important for Twitter going forward, Costolo noted.

Below find my live notes (paraphrased):

MA: Thanks for starting things off with us this morning. You had trouble getting in?

DC: I got in on time no problem.

MA: So anything we want to talk about? What’s happening?

DC: What are you doing? (Laughs) That’s exactly what I want to start with, we decided to change that wording yesterday. Before “what are you doing?” didn’t make sense. People would look and say, “what are you doing?” and they’d say “nothing.”

MA: You spent money on user studies?

DC: We did do some. We have other things to do like getting rid fo the suggested user list.

MA: When will you get rid of it.

DC: ASAP hopefully by the end of the year.

MA: When did you join?

DC: End of August.

MA: Before that you started Feedburner which Google bought. Do you like RSS is dead.

DC: No. I think what happened with RSS is what people predicted, it got pushed down the stack. You just don’t think about it anymore. You don’t know the things behind email, etc.

SG: But it got pushed down the stack by Twitter.

DC: Well it was a lot of things, but yeah Twitter was one. People are more interested in what’s happening this second now, certainly.

MA: There were some docs published this year (laughs). Did you see those docs.

DC: I saw what you posted.

MA: The financial forecast was 25 million users, $4 millon in revenue and 75 employees. What’s true?

DC: Across the board on those numbers we’re above and beyond.

MA: What about traffic?

DC: These sites aren’t great for measuring.

MA: What about user accounts?

DC: Yeah I won’t say that, but 58 million undercounts it.

MA: Growth has been great right?

DC: Yeah. But Facebook is way ahead of us with what 350 million users. Also the growth in the U.S. has slowed, as Ev said a few weeks ago. We’re making changes though to get rid of the SUL and the new site, we think it growth will return.

MA: So 10x growth next year?

DC: We’ll see.

MA: So there won’t be more people on Twitter than there are on the Internet?

DC: No.

MA: So you’ve raise $155 million right? How much is left.

DC: Yes. Plenty of money is left.

MA: What about the new offices, those aren’t cheap?

DC: There are cheap ways of doing things and smart ways. We’re not worried about runrate right now.

MA: When will you turn on revenue.

DC: Our runrate is higher than $4 million, it’s on. Before we had deals announced, everyone wanted to know about our business model – but then we did the Google and Microsoft announcements. We won’t talk details, but they are financial relationships. And they’re compelling. They point toward a way we’re going to go to market. As an open ecosystem. Partners can display our tweets, etc. We shouldn’t care where people go to say tweets.

SG: So we pay Microsoft and Google and they pay you?

DC: You click ads. Look we’re going to syndicate our data to other partners too.

MA: Like who?

DC: We’ve done those deals and there are others. 10s of thousands of ecosystem partners out there. CoTweet, TweetDeck, etc.

MA: What do you use.

DC: I use, I’m old school. Even on the mobile, cause I’m getting a new device.

MA: Talk about the geo API.

DC: The opportunity around Geo is huge. It’s like with Foursquare, the notion of checking in some place is opt-in, it’s great. It used to be all about turning on my location, now it’s the explicit check-in. Before it was problematic. The cool thing that Dennis Crowley of Foursquare has done is to use the gesture of checking-in. I’m here for a period of time, and it’s public – and there’s a lot of things you could do with geo with that.

MA: More detail on business model?

DC: We will have an advertising strategy. You will see that from us in the future. It will be fascinating, non-traditional, and people will love it.

MA: What’s new about it?

DC: We want to do something that’s organic, like the way it happened with Google. It will work with the tweets. People will love the ads when they see it.

MA: Talk more about the ads. Mixed in with the tweets?

DC: I didn’t say that but the message I want to send is that is that there is an advertising idea and it will come next year.

———-Audience Q&A————–

Q: Is the current $4 million revenue? From where?

DC: It’s not $4 million, it’s higher. From a variety of sources.

Q: Is the SUL paid for?

DC: No the SUL is totally non-financial. It’s a super-primitive mechanism.

MA: But you take people off when you piss you off.

DC: Laughs. There’s a lot of problems with it.

Q: You didn’t say premium – but what about paying for access?

DC: It’s not just pay and free access – we’re going to provide a way for partners to participate in our business model. We’re going to be open and foster ubiquity of the tweets. We need to provide mechanisms for partners that want to do things to do things.

MA: Do any partners pay yet?

DC: We do have some payments from partners.

SG: Will there be a Twitter app store?

DC: It’s something we talk about but it’s not top of mind for us.

MA: Will there ever be decentralization?

DC: I don’t think that’s the only way to deal with scalability problems. We can absolutely scale. There are easy things to do.

SG: So why don’t you put track back in?

DC: There are 50 things we want to do to the product, that’s on there. The pace of execution within Twitter is extraordinary. We did Retweet, we did French, we did Lists, we did Geolocation.

MA: What other features?

DC: The requests are diffuse. We want to get back to the ecosystem. Like geo is only on the API, not on the site.

Q: I have a feature request. When someone starts following someone that should be a message through the stream. There is no record of how the social graph evolves now.

DC: I don’t disagree with that. There are things like that we’re thinking about it. Analytics are super important to the future of the way people use Twitter. It would be nice to see data about your tweets.

Q: Will you sell those?

DC: That will be a part of the commercial accounts package, yes. Other things are things for companies, like multiple people access. This is all what we talk about. It will roll out in the very near future.

Q: You talk open source, but you’re never at the open source meetings.

DC: Okay that’s an accusation question. Look when we hire people we ask about open source, it’s important to us. I’ve never seen people working harder in the last 3 months, and I’ve been a lot of places. When we have more people in house, I think we’ll be bigger in those meetings. We use open source, and we hope to be producers of it.

MA: Great, thanks for all your time.

SG: Is there a number to call about track?

DC: Yeah, call me.

The end.

Video: Recording can be seen here.

Transcript: Provided by PLYmedia.

Good morning.

I’m Heather Harde with TechCrunch.

We’re ready to get started.

A few, just sort of housekeeping items.

If you’re trying to get onto the Internet, make sure you connect to intercontinental conference,

The general password is real.

For those who are going to be tweeting, doing photo uploads, other real time media, we’re also

Using the hash tag CrunchUp today.


Was real.

And now I think we want to kind of drill down into the different aspects of this.

What are the business opportunities.

What are the, you know, where is everybody sort of going with geo streams.

And how is this affecting media.

And investments, etc..

So we’re really going to be covering all this throughout the day.

First we’re going to start with.

>> Let’s get this going.

>> A Q&A with

>> We’ve delayed a lot.

People are coming.

>> Everyone’s here.

Stop talking?

Mike and Steve are going to interview Dick Costolo, the COO of Twitter.


>> Just get off the stage.

Are you back there?

>> Told me I was going to mangle it.

I did.

>> Sit right there in the middle.

Dick Costolo, COO of Twitter.

Thanks for starting things off with us this morning.



Had a little trouble getting in this morning.

You had a problem with a ferry.

>> I was here on time.

Got here right on time.

No problem.

It looked grim for a moment.

>> So we have 30 minutes to talk about, you said anything we want to talk about.

>> Anything.

>> What’s happening?

Did you get that?

>> What are you doing.

>> Oh.

Isn’t it

>> So diving right into my talking points.

So the reason we changed what are you doing to what’s happening is what if I had come out here

And you had said, “So what are you doing?

“Instead of what’s happening.

I think what we found in our user research people would sign up for Twitter and then they’d

See this box, this big white box that said: This pillow is behind me are making me slouch.

I’m not usually this slouchchy.

They see this big white box that didn’t talk about the pillow but that said what are you doing.


A lot of people would look at that and just say what am I doing?

God, I’m not doing anything.



This is what we’re spending the venture we just raised.

>> You said you did user studies?

>> Yeah.

>> You could just read Twitter.

You actually spent money on user studies.

>> We did a lot of user research, and you notice how I skipped right through this, you spent

A lot of money on.

We did a lot of research on, look, it’s sort of obvious that it’s no secret that when you sign

Up for Twitter, you fly into this cliff and you catch fire and you

if you’re a brave soul

And you can climb back up the cliff look over on to the vistas beyond you might be able to

Find out how to use it.

We’ve got this on boarding challenge and it’s a lot of things from simple things like what

Are you doing.

And everyone has an answer to that.

Two more sophisticated things like getting ready of SUL.

Suggested user list and replacing it with more elegant suggestions based on how maybe you got

There via a list.

Maybe you got there via David Carr’s Twitter account at the New York Times, etc. Etc..

>> When will you get rid of the suggested user list.

Is there a firm date for that?

>> No firm date for it ASP.

I hope it’s gone at the end of the year.

We’ll see if I’m right or not.

>> When did you actually join the company, August?

>> End of August.

>> So before that you were at Google.

Not doing anything with feed burner at the time, but you were COO and co-founder of feedburn

Er, which Google bought, when was that, ’07, ’08?

>> June of ’07.

>> I don’t want to dwell on feed burner but it’s interesting seeing the sort of old way of

Google reader and the other readers, you know, signing up to a site with using their RSS and

The way we and others are using Twitter today as almost a feed reader.

I think Steve has written about this almost constantly.

How do you feel about that.

>> That was a jibe.

Did you catch that.

>> Do you feel like RSS is dead?

>> Do I feel like it’s dead?

No, what happens with RSS is what many a pundit predicted would happen is that it got pushed

Down the stack.

It became like SMTP or http, right?

Nobody thinks about it.

You don’t think about the Sun mail protocol anymore you hop into Gmail send people a note don’t

Think about http or Apache configurations you just use websites.

What happened with RSS it got pushed down the stack, which is what happens to technology, protocols

Or mechanisms as they mature.

>> It got pushed down the stack by Twitter.

>> I think it got pushed down the stack by a lot of stuff.

Twitter is certainly one of them.

People are more interested in what’s happening right now, this second, and now this second

And now this second.

As opposed to necessarily catching up on here the 300 pieces of news from the past couple of

Days I need to catch up on.

>> So I think that was one component of it, certainly.

I wouldn’t deny that.

>> If you look at

there’s some documents that were published earlier in the year with some

Internal Twitter information.

It was before you started.

>> I like how you changed into a low voice there.

>> I think it’s just because I’m now talking directly into the mic.

>> Maybe.


>> Did you see those documents?

>> Did I see them?

No, I didn’t.

>> I saw what you posted.

>> Yeah.

Were done earlier this year.

Twitter would have 25 million users.

Four million in revenue and 79 employees.

>> Can you tell us what the real numbers are and how the company, how many users do you have,

what revenue?

>> This is what I’ll say.

I’ll say we’re across the board on those

on those numbers, well above and beyond.

>> How many users are there comecourse has 58 million unique worldwide users.

>> These services measure count in traditional ways.

They measure traffic to a site or they’ve got a panel that measures the kind of

the sites

That a person users.

But it’s no secret that there are tens of thousands of ecosystem applications for at which

Twitter, including Twitter clients and mobile clients.

>> The easy thing is how many user accounts are there?

Maybe active ones.

>> That would be the easiest thing to answer.


but I’m not going to give you that answer.

I’m instead going to say those numbers short count Twitter significantly.

>> So 58 million short counts Twitter significantly?

>> Uh-huh.

>> Wow.

And what’s interesting is a year ago, September, comecourse did 5.5 million uniques worldwide

Now they see 58, that’s a 10 X increase something like that.

>> Little more than 10 X.

>> Pretty amazing.

I don’t think any service has grown at that level that quickly.

I’m sorry, Facebook is growing obviously a huge number of users every month.

But I don’t think they’re even approaching this growth rate.

>> You know, good, that’s a good question.

I wouldn’t know what the answer to the growth rate percentages are.

I will say this about growth.

Look Facebook’s got 350 million users, something like that now.

They’re way out ahead of us.

It’s not, you know, it’s not close right now.

The other thing I would say about user growth is it’s also no secret that user growth has diminished

Significantly for us in the U.S. Lately.


I’ve talked about it at the Web 2.0 conference and I said earlier hopefully the suggested user

List goes away soon and we changed to what are you doing now to what’s happening.

Knows are super small things.

There’s lots more sophisticated things we can do about on boarding users.

And we’ve got a robust group of people and team assigned to on boarding users and we’re going

To make a lot of changes there, and I think you’ll see, you know, similar changes in the numbers

As a result of that

>> You continue to see the same growth rate.

You’ll be at 10 X or more than 10 X the number of users possibly a year from now?

>> Uh-huh.

>> Wow.

>> You’re asking.

I thought you’re stating it as a fact.

>> I was asking you and you said yes.

>> No, look, you can only continue to grow at that rate for so long before you have more people

Than are on the Internet in the world.

Of course we’re not going to continue at that growth rate.

>> Clearly you’re not there because 300 million is not all the people.

>> Of course.

No, I realize that.

But Mike was saying.

>> So the only thing you’re confirming you will not have more users by this time next year

than on Internet you’re willing to say that [LAUGHTER]

>> You’re not going to continue at that growth rate for a long period of time.

It’s going to be wavy, right, of course it is.

You’re going to have dips, all services have dips.

And we need to work our way out of it and we’ve acknowledged that.

>> So you guys have raised how much money?

>> 155 million.

>> $155 million.

How much of that is left?

Probably 100?

>> About a buck 80.


Let’s see, plenty.

Plenty of money.

So I’ll say a couple of things about that because I can kind of see where this is going.


Our run rate, you know, our expenses and our burn rate, whatever you want to call it, we’re

Not going to be needing to do anything.

>> You have those amazing new offices where Bibo used to be, literally down the street.

>> I have no idea if that’s the right direction or not.

Yes literally very close by.

>> That’s not cheap.



>> There are cheap ways to do things and there are expensive ways to do things.

We’re doing a really good job of managing our costs.

Like I said, one of the things that anybody with a financial interest in a company would do

Is measure run rate or EBITDA or burn rate.

That is the least of my worries right now.

>> When you have $155 million, it’s not

>> Even if we didn’t have $155 million.

>> In all seriousness let’s talk about revenue.

When do you turn it on.

At any point you could turn on revenue and what do you think the top ways you can generate

Revenue without impacting the user experience.

>> I already told you our run rate was higher than what you suggested.

>> It’s higher than four million.

>> So it’s on.

I think that, you know, one of the funny things that happens to me is

Costolo: That from ads or search deals.

>> I was going to talk about that.

I was kind of leading into my thing.

>> I apologize.

>> You’re right there in with the knife.

>> I formally apologize.

Go ahead.


I don’t want to cut you off.


>> Hey.

>> Come on, you’re sitting by me, looking at him.

>> I’m having fun.

>> So, look, there’s a couple things.

One, when we didn’t have any deals announced, people would say, you know, when is at which

Twitter going to talk about their business model, I don’t want to have to pay for at which

Twitter, then we go out and kind of have this very explicit set of announcements with Google

And Microsoft.

And that start to point to a go to market strategy and we can talk more about that, and then


we’re obviously not going to talk about the details of those relationships, since

Those are confidential relationships.

But they’re financial relationships.

That’s been said as much by all the parties involved.

And they’re compelling.

They’re compelling relationship on all sides.

And they point toward a way we’re going to go to market.

And the way we’re going to go to market is as an open ecosystem, allowing partners to distribute

Tweets or have access to the tweets.

And redisplay them in interesting ways.

And we’re

I think

and I hope sophisticated enough to have prethought about the implications

For the tweets being displayed on other sites in a way that facilitates our business model.

>> Right.


>> So what I mean by that, is we shouldn’t care if people are going to Bing and Google for

Tweet search results instead of to search.Twitter.Com.

And so we’ve tried to go to market with our partners in such a way we don’t have to care if

They go there.

>> From a financial standpoint.

>> From a financial standpoint.

>> So what you’ve done is to shift, instead of paying you, we pay Microsoft and Google, and

Then they pay you?

>> Well, how much do you pay

what do you mean you’re paying Microsoft.

>> I don’t know, you’re not telling us how much you’re paying or getting paid.

>> If Microsoft and Google come to you and ask you for money.

>> Click ads.

>> Click ads.

Look, we’re going to syndicate our data to other partners who have their own business models

And have business models that are compatible with the way we’re going to market.

>> Who would you think would be stop syndication partners beyond the ones you’ve already

>> We’ve already done those deals, right?

There are others.

Of course there are others.

And, look, there are tens of thousands of ecosystem partners.

You’ve got the TweetDecks of the world.

You’ve got the real time search engines.

You’ve got companies that do data mining for brands, right?

You’ve got companies like Code Tweet that have a great model doing around essentially CRM for

Brands on Twitter.

We’ll provide all these companies with a mechanism for using the leveraging the ecosystem and

Leveraging our APIs that allow them to make a lot of money.

>> What do you use when you access Twitter?

>> I’m totally old school.

I use Twitter.Com.

And search.Twitter.Com.

>> You use your phone as well or go to the website.

>> I do use my mobile.

But I’ve got this mid-switching, mid-switching devices.

So I still use the site.

>> So you guys, fascinated by the geo API that you’ve released.

Could you talk a little bit about your strategy around GEO and what the opportunities are?

>> So the opportunity around GEO is huge.

I think that one of the things you see with applications like Foursquare is that this notion

Of checking in to someplace is an explicit op in into identifying my location.

So the challenge around geo, one of the challenges, we were talking about this back stage,

Has always been I turn on my location.

I opt into turning on my location and I leave it on and I forget about it and then three months

Later I get a call from a friend that says, hey, you’re in Las Vegas right now.

You go, where is he?

And like, oh, I left that location thing on.

And now he can see on his map that I’m in Las Vegas.

And that can be more problematic for some than others.

So the cool thing about what Dennis Crowley has done at Foursquare, and I think Dennis is a

Genius, is that he’s made explicit for a short period of time this opt in via the gesture.

I use this, little Steve Gillmor term there.

We view the gesture of checking in.

Did you like that gesture.

>> He doesn’t want me to talk about track.

So keep going.

>> So check in is an explicit I’m here for this period of time and it’s okay that it’s public.

I did it intentionally.

There are lots of interesting things that you could perceive doing with geo around that would

Otherwise be difficult, because you don’t want to have a geo AP that’s constantly don’t forget

To opt turning on your location when you want to say something about the great Indian food

You’re having.

Did that make sense?

You look bored.

>> I’m not bored at all.

I didn’t want to cut you off.

Because it clearly pissed you off when I did.

We’ve talked about just about everything I wanted to cover.

Business model.

You’re not going to go into more detail.

How about we take questions from the audience.

Hold on, audience.


If you have a question, go ahead and line up.

We’ll take a few.

But let’s talk about business models.

>> Yeah, we will have an advertising strategy, right?

You will see an advertising strategy from us in the very near future.

And I think that it will be fascinating and completely nontraditional and people will love


>> Right now you have some sort of display ads, testing, messing around.

But those text ads.

>> Yeah, yeah.

>> That’s not fascinating or unique.

>> No.

>> What was it you said how did you describe it a minute ago.

>> I don’t know I was improvising.

>> You said fascinating.

What’s new?

>> I think it will be

it will be in the genius of Google was that the

when Google first

Rolled this out was that the ads were also the kinds of things that people were looking for.

And so I think we want to do something that’s organic and in the flow of the way people already

Use Twitter and not here’s the tweets and here are the ads.

So it will be

>> It’s here are the ads mixed in with the tweets so you can’t tell the difference when you

Click on them.

>> It’s going to be really cool and people will love it when they see it.

>> People will love the ads when they see it.

People will never get so much joy on clicking on ads as they will.

>> It’s going to be really cool.

>> And this love is going to be sort of packaged up in the retweet function?

>> No.

I wouldn’t say it will be packaged up in retweet function.

>> You’re not going to be making money on retweets?

>> I don’t think we have any intention of doing anything with retweet.

>> Can you explain about the ads?

You described starting using Twitter as flying into a cliff and catching fire.

Which isn’t awesome.

And then you said these ads which will be mixed in with the tweets, correct me if I’m wrong.

>> I didn’t say mixed in with the tweets.

>> You said I want them to be in the same flow.

>> Look, the thing I want to

the message I want to send is that we’re going to have an

Advertising business.

It will be ready in the near future.

>> It will be awesome.

>> It will be available to partners.

I think it’s going to be awesome.

Available to partners.

>> What’s the near future.

This year or next year.

>> Next yearish early next year.

>> Questions from the audience.

Are you that asleep that you have no questions?

>> What’s the

>> For the COO of Twitter.

>> Camera 2

>> Do you mind using the microphone.

>> Question: My name is Adam.

The current revenue that you have right now that’s reported four million, is that coming from

The recommended followers?

>> So it’s not four million.

Mike said the run rate would be four million.

I said our run rate was higher than that.

No, it’s coming from a variety of sources.

>> Meaning two sources, Google and Bing.

>> No, it’s coming from a bunch of different things.

>> Question: Do they pay you the recommended followers?

>> The suggested user list is merely a nonfinancial artifact of when you sign up for at which

Twitter, we need to put something in front of people so that they can know what they should

Do or who they should follow.

It was a super primitive mechanism.

It is not a financial relationship.

People don’t pay us to get on the list.

It causes lots of acrimony.

>> You should take them off when they piss you off.

>> It costs lots of money.

>> TechCrunch got taken off right after they posted those documents.

That didn’t piss us off at all.

>> We know we need to get rid of it and do something more interesting there.

And we will.

>> Another question.

say who you are.

>> Question: I have a question.

You were saying

>> We’re all still waking up here.

>> You didn’t use the word premium but you did talk about in terms of your business model

Providing APIs, providing other things.

I’m thinking you’re talking about metrics.

Two partners and you mentioned things like TweetDeck and code tweet and the question is right

Now a lot of people are providing free services to their users.

>> Of course.

>> Where do you see that division being in terms of what you provide to them and how that

Gets passed off and what the difference in experience between paid and free is going to be

For accessing it.

>> It’s not going to be, so I’m not trying to send the message it’s going to be paid and free


What we’re going to do

so thank you for asking that question.

What we’ll do with all our ecosystem partners is provide them a way to participate in the business


And it’s not going to necessarily be, you know, you pay us a bunch of money and then here you

Get to keep using it.

That’s not at all the idea.

The whole concept behind the Twitter ecosystem is we are going to be open.

We are going to foster ubiquity of the tweets.

We want to do things like, you know, if you’re a start-up and you have no money but you have

This great idea around displaying tweets, or using Twitter for certain B to B applications

You should be able to do that without having any money.

We’re absolutely going to continue to do those things F but what we’re also going to do is

For companies that want to work with us in a more in depth way, with a service level agreement

That they don’t have today, you know, when TweetDeck or other people uses the as-is search

API today it’s as is.

If it stops working or we say you’re over your QPS limit, too bad.

So what we should do is foster mechanisms, provide mechanisms that allow partners that want

To do more sophisticated things to do those things and that’s what I’m talking about.

Not charging the people that are doing simple things for free.

>> Do any of these partners pay you yet?

>> We get paid by partners for certain pieces of the API.

>> Louie, I see you in the audience with Seesmic.

Do you pay Twitter anything?

>> No, but as soon as we stop doing revenue, we’ll be able to share [phonetic].

>> Will there be a Twitter AP store.

>> There’s a lot of talk about the Twitter ap store.

It’s a discussion we have internally a lot.

It’s not top of mind for us.

I think top of mind for us right now is on boarding and discovery.


How do we get the best tweets in front of people without lots of effort on their part.

It should be effortless.

We don’t think a lot about an AP store.

It’s been suggested and one of the debates that rages internally that we don’t feel any your

Urgency dealing with right now.

>> We’ve had this debate for a long time now.

But I don’t believe it is sort of theoretically possible for Twitter to scale given the snaur.

You said it will.

Given that you’re the COO of the company.

Do you ever see decentralization as an option whether you can scale it or not getting at which

Twitter servers out to people so they can run their own at which timers.

>> That’s another debate that rages inside the company whether Twitter remains a centralized


There are ways to decentralize it, etc..

I would say that debate or discussion is disconnected from the scalability question.

For example, we don’t say, hey, we have the scalability challenge and the only way to deal

With it is decentralization.

There’s a scalability challenge and there’s a separate discussion around decentralization.

>> Which side are you on?

>> To the scalability side.

On the scalability point, there’s no question it can scale.

There are

>> There’s a question.

I asked it.

You said absolutely it can.

>> It can absolutely scale.

>> There are easy things you can do around the ways to fan out tweets to followers even if

You have a million, ten million, 100 million followers.

In a scaleable manner.

Efficient manner.

>> Why don’t you put track back in?

>> That’s a good question.

It’s a little off topic.

>> Google is starting to put track in Google alerts.

>> Yeah.

There are 50 things we want to do to the product, right?

>> Yeah.

>> And it remains at the bottom of the list, right?

>> There’s an

I would say the interesting, the really cool thing about working at at which

Twitter, when you’re on the inside, is that the pace of execution by the small team that’s

There, considering the size of our user base, is extraordinary.

So yesterday, you know, two days ago we rolled retweet out to 100 of our users.

Yesterday we launched Twitter in French.

Two days ago launched an enhancement, specific enhancements to lists.

We rolled out the GeoAPI fully.

There’s this pace of execution that’s absolutely remarkable given the scaling and the speed

Of scaling.

>> The track is

if you’re in the audience, track, do you all understand what track is,

Sort of the Google alerts for Twitter.

How many people would it be your number one feature request at Twitter is to have track?

100 percent of the audience just raised their hands.

>> Let me ask it a different way.

>> What are the top feature requests, since only a few people, just yell them out.

>> They’re very diffuse.

>> These guys are still asleep.

>> The feature requests are diffuse.

And there are certain things, look, there are certain things that we want to do that are important

Because they go to the core platform and those can be fanned out to ecosystem partners, right?

Getting back to the ecosystem, the geo stuff is purely

>> It’s not even on Twitter.Com.

>> It’s purely to the API to foster interesting geo uses of the API and improve the kinds

Of user experiences you can have with mobile Twitter.

>> I have a feature request, actually.

So when someone adds a friend or starts following someone, that should be a message through

The stream.

Because right now

if you’re doing analytics, there’s no historical record of how the social

Graph is evolving over time.

At least for us.

You guys may have that data.

But we don’t.

So it would be really, really awesome, when people started following other people, this became

A tweet just like anything else and it could just go through all those other mechanisms.

>> Yep.

I don’t disagree with that.


There’s a lot of things like that you should be able to

>> Get track before that.

>> Track is just one of many features that people want that is something we’ll

>> Our audience has spoken.

Track is

it was 100 percent.

All right.

One last question.

>> So to the point in the back, analytics are super important to the future of the way people

Use Twitter.

It would be really nice to see how your tweets fan out and what the usage of them are and what

Kinds of things were more interesting than others, etc.

>> Are you guys going to sell analytics or provide

>> We talked about before the fact we’ll have commercial accounts package and that commercial

Accounts package, one of the fundamental features of that commercial accounts package for businesses,

Will be an analytics dashboard.

Other things will include stuff like, you know, the kinds of things that companies would want

For their accounts.


Like I want multiple people to author to this one account, and maybe I turn myself on and now

I’ve got the controls and this person’s checked out.

Etc. Etc..

So that’s absolutely something we have talked about before.

We’ve said we were going to roll it out soon.

We continue to be on the time frame of rolling it out in the very near future.

>> Kevin.

>> Question: So you’re talking about openness in ecosystem but I haven’t seen anyone at at

Twitter at any of the IW open standards stuff.

When there were five of you now there’s 60 of you we’re not seeing you anymore.

Please come out more.

>> I think the question was an accusation question.


>> Good to see you.

Not an accusation.

>> We’ve known each other for a while.

I’m giving him a hard time.

So why aren’t we

look, when our engineers interview people, one of the questions a lot of

Them ask is tell me about your contributions to open source.

It’s like super important to the team and the community and we understand that.

It’s also the case that I’ve never seen people working, you know, harder and more passionate

Ly and I’ve worked in a bunch of places, than I have in the last three months, and people are

Just absolutely, you know, the pedal is to the ground.

So when what you will see is when we have more engineers in house and more people doing the

Kinds of things that everyone is wearing four hats for right now, we will be more par tis pa

Ticipatory in all of those avenues.

We use open source.

We hope to be producers of it.

You’ll see nothing but advocacy from us on that front.

>> I appreciate all your time.

I appreciate you coming out here first thing in the morning.

Sounds like you have some great stuff coming up.

>> Happy to be here.

>> And you’re going to keep this sort of open door so that we can

is there a number I can

Call to ask them about where track is on that list?

>> Yeah, my cell phone.

Text me.

>> What is your Twitter.

It’s DickC.

Photo is courtesy of Kenneth Yeung.