In an interview yesterday, Biz Stone addressed the rumors that Google or Facebook was interested in purchasing Twitter, its astronomical $10 billion valuation, and the reasons why Twitter wants to remain an independent company.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone spoke with NPR’s Fresh Air this week about Twitter’s financials and the rumors that have been swirling around since a Wall Street Journal article hinting at a possible acquisition by Google or Facebook.
Stone jokes that “low level talks”, the term used to describe the potential deals between Twitter and Google/Facebook, don’t really mean anything. He strongly stated that “Twitter is NOT for sale” and that they have never been.
“We’re interested in building an independent company. We’ve proven, I think, beyond a doubt that Twitter is an important communication medium in use around the world. What we still have yet to prove is that we can build a very successful business on top of this. We’re also building a new layer of ambition for our team: we want to have a positive global impact.”
He goes on to state that Twitter wants to independently achieve all three of these goals.
Stone also states, very clearly, that he himself has not been in any acquisition talks, and that no one has made an offer to him. With some more prodding, he specifies that neither Google nor Facebook have approached him with talks of buying Twitter.
When asked about Twitter’s high $10 billion valuation (also a number to have come from that Wall Street Journal article making the rounds) Stone laughs and denies that Twitter is valued at anywhere near $10 billion, chuckling that that is just what people are saying in the newspapers.
Stone goes on to explain how Twitter does make money: from advertising, as anyone who is an avid Twitter user will know. He reiterates Twitter’s philosophy of building a valuable service before a business model, and explains how Twitter transitioned towards enhancing the value through its Promoted Products (tweets, trends and accounts).
Stone also discusses the power of Twitter in the Egyptian revolution and as a channel for open information. You can listen to the whole interview at the Fresh Air website.