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Business Insider Intelligence is a new research and analysis service that delivers insight and intelligence about the Internet industry. The product is currently in beta. For more information, and to sign up for a free 30- day trial, click here . The conventional wisdom about Twitter is that it may be a very nice product, but it doesn't have much of a business. And up until recently, that was true. And the fact that Twitter has been mostly dodging questions about its business metrics helps perpetuate the idea.
Twitter will earn $139.5 million in global ad revenues this year, up 210% from $45 million in 2010, according to a new forecast from eMarketer.
In 2010, Twitter became a truly global phenomenon with 25 billion tweets , some of them quite powerful . But most of its growth came form overseas. If you look at a comScore chart of U.S. visitors to Twitter.com (see above), it looks like Twitter’s growth in the U.S. is stalling. In November, Twitter.com drew an estimated 24 million unique visitors, down from 25.1 million in October. Unique visitors are still up 24 percent from a year ago, but there has been zero growth since July. Globally, however, Twitter.com attracted an estimated 104.6 million visitors in October (the month with the most recent data), up 79.4 percent from the year before and still growing at a steady clip month-over-month.
Bidding War For Twitter Raises Valuation To Nearly $4 Billion. Kleiner Perkins Currently In Pole PositionTwo weeks ago we reported that Twitter was mulling over raising a big new round of financing and the expected valuation was in the $3 billion range. Things have developed since then, it seems. The bidding has gotten more intense from what we’re hearing. Russian firm DST , among others, submitted offers to invest valuing the company above $3 billion, say multiple sources. But the current leader, and likely winner, is Kleiner Perkins , say multiple sources.
Twitter announced today a new partnership with social data streaming service Gnip at the Defrag Conference outside of Denver: Gnip will offer 50% of all the messages posted to Twitter for $360,000 per year, or 5% of all messages for $60,000 per year. Pricing is not yet on the Gnip site, but was disclosed in an interview with ReadWriteWeb. Customers will only be allowed to analyze the messages, not display them, and resale of the content itself will remain prohibited.
Twitter is rumored to be looking for one of those DST-style deals where founders, early investors, and early employees sell stock to a holding company and an IPO gets put off a couple years. Some companies that have landed this type of investment include Zynga , Facebook , and Groupon . Typically, these startups have three things in common. They have… Lots of employees.
The rumor: Twitter is thinking about taking more funding , and Russian holding firm Digital Sky Technologies is the most likely new investor. So is it true? A source close to DST CEO Yuri Milner tells us, "I know he was interested two months ago in Twitter - and he is not interested in many things." A second source close to DST confirms that the firm has taken a long hard look at Twitter.
World-changer Evan Williams has stepped down as the CEO of micromessaging social network Twitter, the company announced today, and will pass that role to serial entrepreneur and company COO Dick Costolo. (Above, photo by Joi Ito )
Twitter Marketing Language
Mobile use of Twitter has climbed by more than 60 percent since April, when the company introduced its official iPhone client, Twitter CEO Ev Williams said in a status update posted to the company’s blog . The Twitter founder also said that the microblogging service has 145 million registered users, up almost 40 percent from the number it had four months ago. Williams said that 16 percent of all new users to Twitter start using the service via a mobile device now, compared with five percent before the first official mobile client arrived in April with the purchase of Tweetie , which was renamed Twitter for iPhone (the company now has official clients for BlackBerry and Android as well). Almost half of all users access the service via a mobile device regularly, Williams says, and the Twitter CEO argues that the decision to develop and/or buy official Twitter clients played a big part in this growth:
Twitter and its ecosystem
Twitter Product Evolutions