Twitter COO Dick Costolo, upon being questioned by TechCrunch’s Arrington and Gillmor, today made some interesting comments about Twitter’s revenue – as well as their plans to soon turn to advertisments for additional income. Costolo said, “Twitter will have an advertising business, ready in the near future, and available to partners.”
According to internal documents that were leaked last summer, Twitter is looking for 25 million users and 4 million dollars in revenue by the end of 2009. Colstolo confirmed that those numbers have been reached, and surpassed. He also confirmed that “search deals” with Microsoft and Google is bringing in revenue for Twitter.
I have no problem with Twitter using advertising for revenue. Shucks – it’s costing us nothing. Why shouldn’t we be subjected to a few ads? I’m personally pleased that so much of what drives the Internet (and its mobile spinoffs) is ad revenue, similar to broadcast television. Although we’re happy to pay for a few subscription services, like Ancestry.com, et al, most of us couldn’t afford to subscribe to hundreds of services – but yet we have millions of services, websites, blogs, etc. available to us.
Remember those early Internet years, when it was thought that ad revenue would drive millions of successful websites? Then the dot-com bubble burst in 2001 and we realized that ad revenue just wasn’t enough. Well, it wasn’t enough then – but in many cases it can be today. According to Internet Growth Statistics, the Internet had 513 million users in August of 2001, up from 16 million users in 1995. However, in September of 2009, the Internet had 1,734 million users. I firmly believe that this growth in users, along with the efforts of companies like Google, is what has made a largely FREE Internet possible.
So I’m happy that Twitter will be throwing a few ads at us – just as long as I don’t have to give them my credit card number.