Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Why Twitter Turned Down Facebook

"For now, a marriage between Twitter and Facebook is not meant to be — but the courtship between the two Web 2.0 companies could be rekindled in the future. That was one message from Evan Williams, the chief executive and co-founder of Twitter, in a talk at the Churchill Club in San Francisco Tuesday night. "

"Serious talks between the Facebook social network and the Twitter microblogging service started soon after Mr. Williams took over as chief executive on Oct. 16. Twitter reportedly rejected Facebook’s $500 million, mostly stock offer several weeks ago.
“We explored it, as we should. We took it seriously,” Mr. Williams said. “It definitely made sense — the strategy we talked about with them — but it wasn’t the right time.” Ultimately, he said, Twitter decided that it had too much left to do, beginning with figuring out how to make money.
“Maybe we’ll see each other in the marketplace,” Mr. Williams said.
Twitter, which lets users broadcast messages of up to 140 characters via cell phone or the Web, began to take off in March 2007. Until this fall, though, it struggled with technical difficulties and frequent service failures. It now has some 6 million registered users, though the number who use it regularly is much smaller. (One of them — perhaps Twitter’s most extreme user — was at the speech. He said he follows 17,800 people and 6,000 people follow him. “Do you do anything else?” asked Mr. Williams, who said he can barely keep up with the 947 people he follows.)
Twitter has raised $20 million from venture capitalists, but has brought in virtually no revenue, choosing growth over everything else. Indeed, Mr. Williams said he had planned to raise more capital in mid-2009 and wait to worry about revenue until 2010. "

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