Twitter will soon roll out a free tool for users to handpick and publish
selections of tweets, reflecting the company's commitment to remain a
neutral, interactive platform rather than become a media company, CEO
Dick Costolo said Friday.
The new tool will allow users, including journalists, to manually curate and display tweets to accompany breaking news events.
known for a long time that for events in the real world, the shared
experience is on Twitter," Costolo said at the Online News Association
conference in San Francisco. "We want to create an ability to curate
Costolo dismissed speculation that Twitter had
plans to operate like a traditional media company, following a recent
move to restrict access to tweets only through its website or official
app. Previously, many users could read tweets through third-party
applications with extra features.
Observers had widely predicted
that Twitter, founded in 2006, is intent on treating its stream of
published tweets much like a traditional media product that it has full
control over, and which it can charge for advertising.
about being a destination," Costolo said. "I'm a huge believer in
syndication. Platform companies always outflank and outlast point
solutions and individual products."
The decision to tighten
control over tweets came after the company realized it had invested
significant resources in its service, but other companies were making
money off of it without adding "accretive value," Costolo said.
were spending all this money" eliminate fake accounts and improve the
Twitter experience, Costolo said, but users still had a "choice" of
"experiences." Fake accounts may be created by spammers or
But the company has promised to unlock Twitter's
full interactive potential once it has regained control over how users
access Twitter across desktop computers and mobile devices.
users will see tweet boxes, known as cards, include live features that
will look nothing like the 140 character messages units that they
evolved in the early days of the service.
Costolo offered examples
of interactive features, such as live polls for the NBA All Star game
showing real-time results directly within a tweet box.
"We want to
migrate to a world in which the 140 characters can serve as a caption
for additional functionality," Costolo said. "We'd like that to include
things like real-time data, even an application functionality."
of the services available on third-party clients but not from Twitter
itself the ability for a user to download the full archive of his or
her tweets will be available by the end of the year, Costolo
In the hour-long talk, Costolo also revealed the
scorching pace of expansion at his company. Twitter, which relocated
into new offices in central San Francisco in July, now boasts 1,300
employees, more than three times its headcount just 18 months.
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012