Tweetness is Amazon’s weakness


25 Jun 2008

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‘What are you doing?’ Getting your third round of financing if you are the US micro-blogging site Twitter, which yesterday received a substantial investment led by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, with his firm Bezos Expeditions.

The entire investment is to the tune of US$15m, according to Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, bringing total funding up to US$20.4m.

Joining Bezos as the newest member of the Twitter investment team is Bijan Sabet from Spark Capital, a venture fund based in Boston, Massachusetts. Sabet will also sit on the firm’s board of directors.

“Bijan Sabet and his partners at Spark Capital made a big impression on us. Bijan has a strong sense of where Twitter is heading and sees our service as a new form of communication with the potential to have a real impact in the world,” said Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, on the official Twitter blog.

But what next for Twitter? Is this funding going to sort out its considerable teething problems where features are routinely disabled due to ‘stressing out’ or being way over capacity, or when every second refresh of the Twitter homepage seems to give an error message, again showing a lack of scalability.

Just take a look at the Twitter status blog to get a feel for the constant stream of errors.

Biz Stone said the firm’s biggest opportunities will be worth pursuing “only when we achieve our vision of Twitter as a global communication utility”.

“To reach our goal, Twitter must be reliable and robust. Private funding gives us the runway, we need to stay focused on the infrastructure that will help our business take flight.

“We will continue hiring systems engineers, operators and architects, as well as consultants, scientists and other professionals to help us realise our vision,” he added.

The best bit about this latest news is not that Twitter has increased its funding but how some news sites like TechCrunch used the micro-blogging service to deduce who exactly was involved in the funding in the first place.

If you were following the tweets coming from co-founder Evan Williams, you might have noticed him tweeting that he was taking a stroll down Newberry Street in Boston where Spark capital just so happen to be located, Arrington observed.

Then the tweet from Sabet announcing he was visiting a ‘very special company’ in San Fran. Why read the Wall Street Journal for the latest on tech firms when you can become a tweet detective?

By Marie Boran