I and many others had been speculating if they did or did not need new money (founder Biz Stone says they didn't) and amidst people scraping together money, fearing long, cold winters of recession, Twitter raised a more than respectable third round of $35m led by tier-1 VCs Benchmark and IVP. This can, according to some sources, still grow as existing investors want to protect their dilution (which would make sense, I suppose). Congrats, folks!
According to Stone's blog, they do not need the money. However, they felt the offer was so good that they could not say "no"... As they would say...
What is it for then? And, ah yes, they want to use some of the capital to "help build their revenue-generating projects". And that's about time, too! On the other hand, let's not be too derogative: they have been growing at an amazing speed (the numbers I had were 780% last year; Biz Stone now ups them to more than 900%) and with the media making the right noises and even secondary Twitter businesses being funded (which often do have at least the hint of a "how-to-make-money" set-up though), there certainly is something in this. That Twitter has its uses for businesses is a tale that you can read about from hundreds, including the traffic kings Guy Kawasaki and Peter Cashmore (Mashable); the Twittersphere is full of "top-20-business-uses" style how-to guides.
How will Twitter itself monetize on this? Rumours are flying as always and they range from paid-for corporate accounts to advertising to, presumably, big-media tie-ins. There is so much room to look when you are commanding this big and active a user base that there a plenty of angles; the Twitterati may be younger and poorer than the average (there's recently been a "Twitter census")but they are at home in the new social media and they are ultra-mobile with a higher proportion on laptop and mobile usage. Welcome to the future then! I had suggested a few possible avenues previously; and if even I can do it, I am sure they can do it... ;-)
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