Twitter: Bringing You Ever Closer to the Fame Flame


If you're on Twitter, you already know that it's a drug. It's like a big get-together where you can talk to hundreds of people without committing yourself too seriously and before you know it ... poof ... you've just spent three hours talking about your summer reading. I've made a concerted effort to not let it overtake my life and I've generally succeeded.

But one aspect of Twitter that I find so pathetically alluring is the celebrity follow. Now, my time on Cinematical has already introduced me to a lot of Big Names, and while it's always fun and exciting to meet someone you like onscreen, it's often just work. Often, it's awkward work. I say that not to brag or play down the experience, but to stress that chasing celebrities just isn't my thing. Except on Twitter.

Twitter is like this shadowy, secret party where Hollywood's creme de la creme are eating, drinking, laughing, and filming, and they're coyly letting you watch. They casually drop names and TwitPics, and there's something about that that's so alluring once paired with a timestamp.
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Facebook: Twitter is “in the rear-view mirror”

Twitter may still be the media darling of the day, getting all kinds of attention amid its huge user growth earlier this year. But Facebook, once considered Twitter’s most fierce competitor because it also wants to let users post bite-sized updates online about their thoughts, apparently no longer thinks of Twitter as a threat.

Facebook’s executives aren’t really thinking much about Twitter these days and see it as a niche site which is unlikely to grow — or at least, so they say.

“Twitter is a great company,” said Chamath Palihapitiya, Facebook’s vice president of growth, mobile and international expansion in an interview yesterday. “What they do is offer a way to publish information in a very consumable, public way.”

But, he continued, “they’re in the rear-view mirror.”

“To focus on a company with 40 million users that is not growing is not a good idea,” he said, citing Hitwise market share data as evidence of Twitter’s slowdown.

Palihapitiya said the last time he thought about the company was when Twitter board member Bijan Sabet looked him up in April and took him to coffee. (It’s amusing that Twitter co-founder Biz Stone used the exact same “rear-view mirror” language to describe the competition when we talked to him last month.)

Palihapitiya made the comments in a portion of the interview where we asked him about which company — Google or Twitter — is the bigger competitor to Facebook. Other Facebook executives, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, have also suggested that Google is more of a competitor than Twitter.

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Twitter Goes for Broke, if Broke Means


Is Twitter a billion-dollar company? It is now, according to its investors. People familiar with the company tell me it has raised around $50 million in a funding round that values the start-up, which has no real revenue to speak of, at about $1 billion.

TechCrunch, which first reported the funding, says CEO Evan Williams informed his employees about the new deal at a recent companywide meeting. I’m told the round is all but finished: “If the money isn’t in the bank yet, it will be soon,” a source tells me.

No word on who has invested in the company in this go-round, but it’s almost certain Twitter was able to entice new backers to join its existing investors: Silicon Valley logic dictates that each successive funding round should attract new money.

In February, Twitter raised approximately $35 million in a round led by Benchmark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners that valued it at $250 million.

Twitter Goes for Broke, if Broke Means “A Lot of Money”: New Funding Round at $1 Billion Valuation

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Twitter Blog: Twitter's New Terms of Service


At the start, critics often said, "Twitter is fun, but it's not useful." At one point @ev responded dryly with, "Neither is ice cream." Things have come a long way in a short time. We recognized potential early but users and platform developers would demonstrate how much more Twitter could be. Fostering an open and increasingly important network is not as easily dismissed as it once was—but it's still fun!

Now that we know more about how Twitter is being used, we've made changes to our Terms of Service—these are the basic rules that go along with using Twitter. The revisions more appropriately reflect the nature of Twitter and convey key issues such as ownership. For example, your tweets belong to you, not to Twitter. With these revisions, we expect some discussion so here are a few highlights from the updated page.

Advertising—In the Terms, we leave the door open for advertising. We'd like to keep our options open as we've said before.

Ownership—Twitter is allowed to "use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute" your tweets because that's what we do. However, they are your tweets and they belong to you.

APIs—The apps that have grown around the Twitter platform are flourishing and adding value to the ecosystem. You authorize us to make content available via our APIs. We're also working on guidelines for use of the API.

SPAM—Abusive behavior and spam is also outlined in these terms according to the rules we've been operating under for some time.
These updates complement the spirit of Twitter. If we've left something out, or the nature of the service changes, then we'll revisit the Terms—there's a feedback link on the page.

Twitter Blog: Twitter's New Terms of Service

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