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Deal Radar 2008: Twitter Gaining Momentum

Posted on Thursday, Jan 31st 2008

Twitter is a micro-blogging site that has taken the web by storm. It is a social network that allows users to post “status update” messages either through the web, instant messenger or through a text message from a mobile phone. An update can be a maximum of 140 words. It could be of the nature, “I am getting off the bus”, or “I am sitting on the loo” (I am not kidding).

Twitter began as a product of Obvious, LLC and was subsequently spun off as a separate company called Twitter, Inc. in April 2007. It was founded in March 2006 and is headquartered in San Francisco. It recently won the Best Mobile Startup at the first annual Crunchies Award.

In July 2007, Twitter raised $5.4 million led by Union Square Ventures. Other investors were Charles River Ventures, Marc Andreesen, Dick Costolo, Ron Conway and Naval Ravikant. In July 2007, when Twitter received funding, Michael Arrington estimated it to be valued at$20 million but the micro-blogging site has gained huge popularity of late and uniques have been steadily rising. Monetization needs to happen through some form of advertising, but it is not yet clear how all that will pan out.

Twitter has a traffic rank of 3,393. Compete estimates Twitter’s unique visitors to be 520,282 in December 2007. On an average a user spends 6:02 minutes on Twitter and views 6 pages.

Twitter is a good acquisition target for companies focused on the teen/tween community, especially for Viacom and Disney.

Since, Twittering can be done through SMS and a large number of users have already signed up for the SMS facility, large mobile service providers like AT&T, Sprint, TMobile or Verizon could look at acquiring Twitter and provide the service on a monthly subscription basis.

The site has been constantly adding new features and upgrading its services. It has certainly become the “voice” of a generation (not mine), and for companies focused on engaging that generation, Twitter is almost a must-have.

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2008

. MyStrands is MyChoice
. Kayak Consolidates Travel
. Trulia Can Consolidate Real Estate
. Girls Like Stardoll
. LinkedIn Should Roll-Up Jobs
. Zillow
. TheFind
. Wize Ranks Products
. Retrevo
. Piczo Picture Perfect
. Xanga Losing Steam?
. hi5 Going Strong
. Bill Me Later - Blessed by Amazon
. Takkle Tackling Socially
. Amie Street and the Twenty First Century Renaissance
. eHarmony Replacing Yenta
. Zappos Wants to be Amazon When it Grows Up
. Figleaves and Specialty e-Tail
. Twitter Gaining Momentum
. Tagged In Exit Freeze Danger Zone?
. Digg - Packaging news
. Facebook Woes Coming?
. PlayFirst Plays Casual Games Well
. Kosmix+Adify - Potential Google Challenger
. Travel Ad Network Executing Flawlessly
. Trying to Tackle the Video Ad Problem
. Groople, Interesting Use of Context
. Lucidera
. InsideView's Clever Maneuvering
. Seeking Alpha
. Adify's Market Taking Time to Develop
. Glam Media's Fashion Forays
. Federated Media Needs to Focus
. GigaOM
. TechCrunch
. Yelp
. Slide
. Elance
. oDesk
. SKS Microfinance
. TutorVista
. Seventymm
. Cleartrip
. Yatra
. MakeMyTrip
. Intacct
. Genius
. Xactly
. Jigsaw
. Comcast Buys Plaxo
. Encover
. PayCycle
. Daptiv
. Inform
. PayScale
. Joost
. VideoEgg
. Mercado
. YuMe
. BitTorrent
. Geni
. Blurb
. Mimosa Systems
. Metaweb
. Brightcove
. Revver
. Cake Financial
. Mint
. Powerset
. UpTake
. PaidContent
. Mixpo
. Biz360
. Sabrix
. Coremetrics
. Revision3
. Appirio
. Metacafe
. Pandora
. Hulu
. Fabrik
. Flock
. Wetpaint
. ID Analytics
. Ning
. Telanetix
. Dimdim
. ON24
. Veodia
. Jive Software
. Realtime Worlds
. GirlSense
. LifeSize
. Grockit
. Playfish
. Nurien
. NTR Global
. AmberPoint
. Trion World Network
. PrimeSense
. Verticals onDemand
. Gaia Interactive
. PubMatic
. Mahalo
. Akoha
. Sportgenic
. Turbine
. ImageSpan
. Entrepreneur Journeys
. Aggregate Knowledge
. Fliqz
. Elastra
. Challenge Games
. PivotLink
. iForem
. Operational Memory LLC,Raleigh, North Calorina
. FeedRoom
. GameDuell
. Fotolia
. EchoSign
. Mevio
. Local Marketers
. Baynote
. BlogHer
. Passenger
. Mobixell
. Wigix
. ExpertCEO
. Zyrion
. Archer Technologies
. SunRun
. NewsGator
. PermissionTV
. Creative Water Solutions
. Carbonetworks
. WiZiQ
. Regent , Frederick,Marryland
. ClickCare
. Studywiz Spark
. Saki Seat
. ShiftWise
. Neulio
. Revolabs

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Twitter makes me feel old. I nibble at it, but am not sure I get it. And to think, people call the Baby Boom generation self-centered!

John B Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 2:50 PM PT

I don’t get it either, John. I just find the lack of concern for privacy completely appalling.

Sramana Mitra Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 3:33 PM PT

Found this in the website “If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, it is one of those things, like MySpace, that sounds totally ridiculous and stupid when you first hear about it. But once you start using it, you realize how much fun it is.” says Eric Nuzum, Author of The Dead Travel Fast. Maybe that explains it…..

Balaji Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 11:39 PM PT

Well, I am most certainly not the one to help you “get” Twitter, but very simply put, Twitter enables the convergence of SMS & the web.

Per the following, Twitter offers a platform for accessing the internet [read APIs] via SMS:

As this list of TwitterBots suggests, Twitter is more than people telling anyone and everyone on the internet whether or not they’re “sitting on the loo:”

My particular fantasy TwitterBot: “d GrandCentral 555-555-1234” via SMS to get GC to dial you back and ring the number of your choice. You can already do this via the mobile web. Bye bye cell phone bills!… VoIP will make international calling from cell phones “free” too.

This will happen – soon. Whether Twitter will emains in the middle of this kind of transaction, I do not know.

Matthew Weymar Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 1:09 AM PT

[…] in the in the teen-focused social networking space such as Xanga, hi5 and Tagged. The other teen/tween community micro-blogging site that they could also look at is Twitter. However, as of now they don’t seem to be looking […]

Disney Delights, Netflix Not - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 9:08 AM PT