Twitter may shed light on plans to generate revenue
May 26th 2009 12:00PM
Updated Dec 4th 2009 11:23AM
While it has become this year's internet darling, the company hasn't yet figured out how to pay next year's bills.
Twitter may shed some light onto whether it can turn its customers into a source of cash when founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone speak at the "D: All Things Digital" conference Tuesday evening.
To work out a business model and add management experience, Twitter has interviewed business strategy candidates, turning down most of them, according to The Wall Street Journal.
To help create revenue, Twitter may be entertaining Web search or advertising partnerships with companies such as Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT), the Journal reports. While looking for that revenue stream, the company is also facing pressure to hold the interest of its users after they have signed up for an account. Twitter has 32.1 million users, up from 1.6 million a year ago, and 45 workers, up from 21 in January, the Journal story says. Twitter CEO Williams the company may have a total of 90 employees by the end of 2009.
Stone told the Journal he wants to make the user experience "more relevant to more people" and a planned re-design of Twitter.com's home page may help. The company wants to make it easier for users to find out what's happening locally, in addition to what other users are doing.
Meanwhile, speculation about a Twitter sale continues. Williams and Stone did not address the issue in the WSJ story. Companies such as Google, Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft have reportedly expressed interest. It's unlikely that anything less than $1 billion would capture Twitter, people familiar with the matter told the paper.
Williams and Stone will likely be asked about a potential sale and future plans for Twitter during the conference this evening. Twitter itself may be the first website to report what they say as some of its users will no doubt "Tweet" from the conference.
Now if only the company could figure out how to turn that into revenue.
Anthony Massucci is a senior writer for DailyFinance. You may follow him on Twitter at hianthony.