Twitter CEO Evan Williams Speaks at Web 2.0 Summit

Twitter CEO Evan Williams spoke with Federated Media Publishing founder and chairman John Battelle at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, where he touched on how the social-networking service will make money and why he doesn’t regret rejecting Facebook’s offer, Silicon Alley Insider reported.

Some highlights from Williams:

We’re spending 97% of our efforts trying to improve the product. That’s not unrelated to revenue. But…the irresponsible thing would be to take our eyes off the product now and focus on revenue when ultimately, they go hand-in-hand. Long-term value will be in how good the product is and how many users it has.

I can tell you why we’re optimistic about revenue. I can’t tell you exactly what the model is yet. There may be some advertising in the mix.

We are seeing slowing of growth in some areas and accelerating of growth in other areas. Twitter is hard to measure. We are seeing huge growth on mobile and internationally. Also, our API is hard to measure. Probably our U.S. growth has slowed temporarily, but we will launch things we think will pick that up. But it is not a shocker that Web traffic growth has slowed.

I don’t know how feature prioritization happens there (at Facebook). For their size, they’re very agile changing the product. We don’t spend our days figuring out which way they’re going to change it. We don’t use it to base our product decisions now. Facebook was there when we started. There’s room for both of us. I don’t think it’ll mean the end of Twitter.

I don’t think everything syncing with everything else is necessarily the right user experience. Different services provide different features, even if they look similar. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: October 21, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT