Twitter Isn’t Sure What Twitter Is, CEO Costolo Says. Good.
This is refreshing: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tells the UK Telegraph that he’s trying to figure out what Twitter is. Nothing should hearten us more than a lack of certainty about such things.
“I am working on clarity around that at the moment,” Costolo tells the newspaper, asked about his long-term vision. “I am currently trying to define what Twitter’s purpose is in the long term. We will be able to be more specific on that answer in the near future.”
Maybe not so near, one hopes.
Costolo, who took over as CEO only last month when Evan Williams stepped down to focus on product strategy, is probably only throwing a reporter a bone with that “near future” remark. Twitter has been saying (sighing) for years that it doesn’t really have to rush to come up with a plan to make money, and it’s right. It also doesn’t need to figure out what it is and risk getting it wrong — there lies stagnation and disappointment and the exact fate that Facebook avoided in its formative years. Telephones, television, even computers — nobody had any idea for the longest time what the potential would be.
Costolo knows that history, and a similar one for his company, noting that hasthags themselves were a user innovation. “It is hard to speak about Twitter’s vision without factoring in how much of its purpose has been defined by its users over the years,” he said. “Twitter needs to continue being a good listener and recognize that the service has been redefined by lots of people, tweet by tweet, but also come up with its own priorities.”