Twitter Hits 100m Users, Sets Out Business Case

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A massive injection of funds – and users – had emboldened Twitter to address its poor business image

Twitter announced that it has reached 100 million global active users, while simultaneously laying out its comprehensive business case for the first time yesterday, with CEO Dick Costolo saying advertising revenue is all it needs to be successful.

The micro-blogging site is not well known for its business head, but having secured a further $800 million (£500m) in funding it is preparing for a new chapter in its development, reports the Financial Times.

As it tries to shake off a poor commercial image it is planning to begin displaying promoted tweets to all of its 100m active users, not just those who had previously expressed interest in particular brands.

Costolo (pictured) also addressed the issue of floating the company, saying that with a “truckload of money in the bank” Twitter was not under any pressure to “become beholden to the public markets” until it is ready.

“They’ve just bought themselves a lot more time to solidify their business model,” Charlene Li, an analyst at Altimeter Group told the Financial Times. “People forget they’re only a four-year-old company.”

More money, more users

Of the latest capital raised, $400 million goes direct to Twitter with another $400 million is set aside for buying out employees and existing shareholders.

The Financial Times reports that, according to one person close to the deal, the investment values Twitter at $8 billion but revenues are expected to be just $150-200 million.

The announcement that Twitter now has 100m active users marks a jump of 82 percent since the start of this year. Active users are qualified as those logging into their accounts at least once a month, the same measure used by other sites, including Facebook which claims 750 million users.

Smartphones have helped drive Twitter’s user base according to Mr Costolo in the Financial Times. He says 55 percent of active users have adopted the mobile platform.

New Bing deal

On Wednesday Twitter and Microsoft confirmed to eWEEK that they had renewed their deal to integrate Tweets with Bing’s search engine without revealing the length and duration of the deal.

The move gives Twitter prominent placement on its own page in one of the leading search engines, while Bing gets to enjoy traffic spikes from people searching for hot, breaking news and trends.

Twitter was unable to reach an agreement on renewing a similar arrangement with Google which expired in July. Google instead created its own real-time search index with Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Quora and other sources.

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