Twitter hits 105 million users

Twitter claims to have 105 million registered users, with the company declaring that the focus is now on making money.

Twitter hits 105 million users

At the company’s first conference for Twitter developers, chief executive officer Evan Williams said generating revenue was among the key priorities going forward – a change of tone for a firm that had previously said it focused mainly on improving the user experience.

“Money is important,” Williams said. “It takes a hell of a lot of money to run Twitter. There has to be a very solid revenue stream underneath this to fuel it.”

Money is important. It takes a hell of a lot of money to run Twitter. There has to be a very solid revenue stream underneath this to fuel it

But co-founder Biz Stone stressed that while the company was not philosophically opposed to floating shares to the public, he stressed that a public offering was not on the radar for the time being.

“At this point we have 175 people and we just yesterday announced our revenue strategy. We’re not talking about an IPO”, said Stone.

The comments come a day after Twitter rolled out a new advertising program dubbed “Promoted Tweets,” its first attempt to make money from its service and a milestone on the path toward an initial public offering.

While the fledgling advertising program unveiled this week now has just five advertisers in a trial run, Stone said in an interview that the company believed the new ad service represented one of the primary businesses that would finance the company’s operations going forward.

The figures

According to Stone, Twitter has roughly 105 million registered users and is adding 300,000 new users every day.

Seventy five percent of its traffic comes from people using third-party apps, but despite that its site drew 180 million monthly unique visitors in March.

Going forward, executives said Twitter planned to increasingly target users on mobile phones. The company recently acquired Tweetie for Apple’s iPhone, which will be reincarnated as Twitter’s iPhone app in the coming weeks.

The company also worked with Blackberry maker Research in Motion to develop a specialised Blackberry app. Williams told the crowd that an app for phones based on Android was in the works.

Twitter sought to reassure independent software developers at the conference that its moves to create versions of the service would not shut out the more than 100,000 third-party programs that have been built to work alongside and enhance Twitter.

“Twitter is truly a collaboration and that is not changing,” said Williams. “I anticipate a few more acquisitions this year. I don’t know if we’re going too crazy.

“But there’s certain things that we need to get done and we want to get done fast, and there’s certain things we can take our time building,” he concluded.

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