Careers at Twitter
Twitter’s mission is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.
Jack Dorsey was an ambitious kid. As a teenager he became interested in the concept of dispatch routing, a procedure for assigning employees or vehicles to customers. So he decided to create a software program for the process, one that was soon used by taxicab drivers in his native St. Louis, Missouri. Years later, after dropping out of NYU, he founded an online dispatch routing company.
In 2000 Dorsey signed up for LiveJournal, a social platform for sharing blogs. He thought it could be improved by allowing users to post short, real-time messages/status updates. He kept this idea in mind for the next few years. Then in 2006, he mentioned it an all-day brainstorming session for Odeo, a company for which he was a board member. The firm was excited about the proposal.
Over the next two weeks Dorsey and fellow board member Biz Stone built a prototype for the service, which utilized SMS text for its format. Their code name for the project was twttr, a reference to the word “twitter”. Dorsey felt it was perfect because it means “a short burst of inconsequential information.“ He soon posted its first message (a “tweet“), with a limit of 140 characters.
A company was founded for the project in March 2006, called Twitter. The service was officially unveiled to the public in July 2006. Dorsey then partnered with Stone and board members Evan Williams and Noah Glass to launch Obvious Corporation in October 2006. It purchased Odeo, which then spun off Twitter as a separate company in 2007. Dorsey was named its CEO.
Many people were not sure what to make of Twitter at first – alternately calling it a social network and a microblogging service. However, its popularity exploded in 2007 following significant usage at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. Within the next year, its volume grew from 400,000 tweets per quarter to 100 million. Twitter’s success enabled it to go public in 2013, on the NYSE.
Benefits at Twitter
Business model of Twitter
Twitter has a segmented market business model, with customer segments that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offering at individuals who want to communicate with each other/the public and businesses that want to promote their brands.
Twitter offers six primary value propositions: customization, convenience, pricing, performance, risk reduction, and brand/status.
The company enables customization by allowing users to personalize their profile pages. It also enables businesses to tailor their marketing efforts by identifying and targeting individuals based on age, gender, geography, interests, devices used, and keywords in their tweets.
The company offers convenience by providing users with a source of real-time information. It is often used by news organizations to give breaking news and updates. The platform also makes operations simpler for businesses by enabling them to easily monitor the progress of their marketing campaigns. It gives them access to the Tweet Activity Dashboard, Campaign Dashboard, and Account Analytics, all of which provide data such as most popular tweets, providing a useful gauge of performance.
The company offers a pricing value proposition. Usage of the platform is free. Also, businesses that use its advertising services only have to pay when individuals follow their accounts or retweet, reply, like, or click on the firms’ Promoted Tweets. There is no minimum spending amount for the services.
The company has demonstrated strong performance through tangible results. One study claims that the interactivity it offers drives an emotional response that is 75% higher than that experienced on most websites. Also, the company itself indicates that ads on its platform generate 2 to 2.4x the average sales and penetration lifts of those on comparable social sites. High-profile examples of positive outcomes for specific advertisers on the site include the following:
- Software firm MuleSoft used Twitter’s ad solutions to make it stand out at an industry conference, resulting in a 5.18% average tweet engagement rate and over 4,000 leads
- Toho-Towa, a movie distributor, used Twitter’s Promoted Video option to build buzz for a film sequel, resulting in 54,000 retweets and a 70% increase in box office over the previous film
- Huawei Mobile used Twitter’s Promoted Tweet option to generate chatter over an announcement for its new phone, resulting in an engagement rate 193% higher than expected
- Coca-Cola Mexico used Twitter’s ad solutions to increase brand recognition and promote a sponsorship, resulting in over 10,000 new followers and 4,818 mentions
- Jaguar USA used Twitter’s First View option to drive awareness of its new model, resulting in 4.5 million views in one day and a 12% increase in brand favorability
The company reduces risk by maintaining high safety and security standards. It allows users to do the following:
- Receive warnings in advance of tweets that may contain media with sensitive content
- Flag one’s own tweets if they contain sensitive content so others will be warned
- Identify undesirable tweets from brands so Twitter can limit tweets of that nature in the future
- Protect one’s tweets (limit which followers can see them on one’s profile)
- Mute received tweets considered undesirable (prevent them from appearing on one’s profile without blocking/unfollowing the tweeter; tweeters are not aware they have been muted)
- Block undesirable followers (prevent followers from being able to interact with one’s account; they will not be able to tweet on the account or see the account’s tweets)
- Unfollow undesirable followers so that one does not see their tweets in one’s profile
- Report followers that are believed to be in violation of Twitter’s rules/Terms of Service
The company has established a powerful brand due to its success. It has 35 offices around the world, is available in over 40 languages, and has over 313 million monthly active users. It is used by most Fortune 500 companies and several prominent individuals, ranging from entertainers to politicians.
Twitter’s main channel for individuals is its website. It maintains a direct sales team for reaching out to potential advertisers. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages, online marketing, and participation in conferences.
Twitter’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature.
Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website features an “Insights” section that includes articles and research reports, and the site provides answers to frequently asked questions.
That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of e-mail and social media support.
Twitter’s business model entails maintaining a robust platform for its users.
Twitter maintains the Twitter Official Partner Program, whose members include firms that provide high-quality products and services that assist advertisers on its platform.
They demonstrate expertise in one or more of the following areas: Analytics, Engagement & Publishing, Content Curation & Display, Consulting & Agency Services, Ad Technology, Audience Data, Audience Onboarding, and Ad Measurement.
They can help brands do everything from scale customer care to increase campaign return on investment. Specific partners include the following:
· Crimson Hexagon
· Sprout Social
Third parties interested in membership in the program must submit an application for review.
Twitter’s main resource is its proprietary software platform, which connects over 313 million monthly active users.
It depends on its technology employees to maintain the platform, its sales force to promote it, and its customer service employees to provide support.
As a startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $1.2 billion from 26 investors as of May 2015. Lastly, it places a high priority on its intellectual property, with 990 issued patents in the U.S. as of 2015.
Twitter has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is sales/marketing, a fixed cost.
Other major drivers are in the areas of research/development, a fixed cost, and cost of revenue, a variable expense that includes infrastructure, facilities, capitalized labor, and traffic acquisition costs.
Twitter has two revenue streams:
- Advertising Revenues – Revenues generated from the fees charged to third parties to advertise their offerings on Twitter’s platform. Most ad revenues are obtained through the sale of “Promoted Products”, which include Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends. Twitter also generates revenue by placing ad products on third-party publishers’ websites and applications.
- Data Licensing/Other Revenues – Revenues generated through the offering of “Gnip”-branded products and data licenses to data partners, enabling them to access, search and analyze historical and real-time data on its platform; and the providing of mobile advertising exchange services.
info: Jack studied at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and New York University before dropping out. He previously served as a developer at Odeo. He is also the Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Square.
info: Adam earned a B.A. in English and Journalism at Miami University. He previously served as President of Global Revenue and Partnerships at Twitter, as President of the Fox Audience Network, and as Chief Technology Officer of Fox Interactive Media.
info: Anthony earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy and an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as the Head of the Technology, Media, and Telecom Investment Banking Group at Goldman Sachs.
info: Adam is a graduate of Willamette University and Stanford Business School. He previously served as VP of Application Development at Twitter and as VP of Development at Oracle, and held positions at Organic, WebLogic, and the Santa Fe Institute.
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