At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco yesterday, Twitter co-founder and CEO Evan Williams took the stage for a discussion with Federated Media’s John Battelle. It was a lengthy discussion covering a lot of interesting topics. If you’re interested in Twitter, you’ll probably want to read the full Q&A.
For an overview, Battelle at first focused on revenue. Williams notes that while Twitter is definitely thinking seriously about revenue, 97% of its efforts are still on the product and technology (which he thinks will be key for revenue eventually). That said, they are thinking about ways to charge brands that use Twitter (which everyone has known for a long time), but that they’re also still open to some advertising ideas too.
In terms of Twitter’s recent growth slowing down, Williams acknowledged that traffic to twitter.com in the U.S. is slowing down for now, but said that they think they have new features coming out that will change that. He also noted that while that growth may be slowing, they are still seeing big growth in both mobile and abroad.
Williams said that he doesn’t regret the decision not the sell Twitter at all. He acknowledged that they’d been meeting with Facebook since he took over as CEO almost exactly a year ago. But ultimately, he believes they can do great things with Twitter, and he doesn’t think being a part of a bigger company will help that (this drew applause from the audience).
Williams also doesn’t think that Facebook has to die for Twitter to survive, and vice versa. He sees the two as doing different things, even though there are some similarities. Interestingly, Williams also wasn’t sure that Twitter and Facebook weren’t talking about a way to link up their data. He said he’s not involved in those discussions, but seemed to indicate that they may be taking place.