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.
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