Twitter aims for 1 billion members

12 Oct 2010

Former Twitter CEO Evan Williams said Twitter is aiming to get a billion members in order to help it compete for advertising with social-networking giant Facebook.

Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, joined Williams at an event at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, California.

“Twitter will get to a billion members,” said Williams, however, he did not say as to what timeframe they wish to achieve this target.

He said these users would not be the same potentially billion users as on Facebook, suggesting they see themselves as a different service to Facebook.

Williams also said Twitter is getting more new user signups every week than the entire population of his home state of Nebraska, calculating the figure at 1.8 million per week.

Both Williams and Stone talked about the new design for Twitter, saying they had expected a backlash, but never got one.

Stone said the new design is aimed at maintaining Twitter’s simplicity, while adding rich content features.

Last month saw Twitter open to more advertisers through Promoted Tweets, after holding a trial with brands such as Coca-Cola and Virgin.

Stone said he believed Twitter was handling the balance between advertising content and standard Twitter content quite well.

While it was noted that big companies have a lot of Twitter followers, Stone pointed out that if they wanted to get more, they can avail of the Promoted Tweets or Trends options.

Williams also talked about why he stepped down as CEO to focus on project strategy, saying the CEO position would require more attention on operational efficiency and personnel management than product direction.