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Clever Twitter Headline Goes Here

By Gerald McGrew on December 17, 2013 in Other



There are things in the Eastern Suburbs you’re going to be subjected to – whether you like it or not: an overweight lawyer in cycling spandex sitting spread-legged at your favourite café; a Bondi hipster in a beanie… in 40-degree heat; even the sight of Malcolm Turnbull at Bondi Junction Westfield in one of his several hundred leather jackets should not raise a manicured eyebrow. And now, we can expect casual talk about Twitter to be ‘Eastern Suburbs Mainstream’.

You see Twitter has just become a US$31 billion dollar company… for the time being at least. Many of our local advertising and technology folk – and there are plenty of them, trust me – have long been banging on about how amazing Twitter is, and now it’s going to be considered an important part of every dinner party, pub piss-up and pudgy cyclist coffee conversation.

To help you all through this difficult period I’ve prepared a primer on the wankfest that is Twitter, with pithy commentary on whether it is or isn’t a company now worth more than Harley-Davidson, Alcoa, Sony and News Corp.

Firstly, Twitter is seven years old. If it were a person it would be in first or second class, picking its nose and eating it, and thinking members of the opposite sex are ‘icky’. Twitter has about 231 million monthly users sending over 400 million tweets per day. Unverified reports from myself suggest 395 million of these tweets are pointless crap. About 2 million are from news services or ‘citizen journalists’ (ordinary people who can point a phone camera at a protest or car crash, upload to YouTube, then tweet OMG WTF DID I JUST SEE?). The remaining 3 million tweets appear to be from Stephen Fry, Ashton Kutcher and Ricky Gervais.

Interestingly, 78% of Twitter’s users are from outside the United States. Since 2010, non-Americans have been joining at double the US rate. There are a number of reasons for this, none of which I know. You’ll have to bullshit your way through this part of the conversation I’m afraid. Maybe link it to obesity or gun control?

The big questions that will require you to chime in with some sort of response are right here, courtesy of your good friends at Webshite…

How does Twitter make money? Easy – dirty ad revenue, the majority of which is paid by brands to show ‘promoted tweets’ to users. Don’t get that one wrong.

How much revenue does it generate? The banks and analysts are all guessing around US$500-600million in 2013. If it’s less, share values will drop like they’ve been king hit at Penrith Panthers.

Is Twitter losing money? The smart rumours are guessing a loss of more than US$100m this year. Twitter isn’t saying when they’ll make a profit; experts and pundits alike are hoping 2015.

And here’s the question where you get to show that you’re truly in the know: Is Twitter worth the megabucks? Right now, no, but if they crank the revenue up to US$1billion plus in 2014, make smart acquisitions and integrate with broadcast TV globally then they’ll be unstoppable. I think. Maybe.

Of course Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other competitors yet to appear want to knock off the new kid on the block. Between them all, they might.

And what’s my bet? Anything Damien Oliver is riding next year!