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Twitter IPO? Not So Fast, Says Costolo

by Sam Laird 2

 

Eager investors and IPO cynics alike can cool their jets: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo says the company is in no rush to go public.

“We are going to remain private as long as we want,” Costolo told the Los Angeles Times this week in a wide-ranging interview about the state of the Twitter union.

“I like being private for all sorts of reasons. It allows us to think about the business and the way we want to grow it … as opposed to being beholden to a particular way of growing the business, such as quarter to quarter.”

Costolo says the slow lane approach isn’t because of any concerns about making money or the health of the company.

Half of the Twitter’s 140 million active users log in daily, and mobile usage is soaring, according to Costolo. Up to 80% of users in Japan and the United Kingdom access the network primarily from mobile devices, and more than half of overall users do too.

Growth is soaring in the Middle East, with membership growing by 3,000% in Saudi Arabia over the past month.

And all those mobile users are biting on ads, Costolo says — a promising sign as most observers see the future of the web becoming increasingly mobile.

“I have every confidence the business will scale,” he told the Times. “There are already some days when we make more money from mobile than non-mobile.”

 

SEE ALSO: Facebook Will Disappear by 2020, Says Analyst
Twitter’s option for user anonymity — which helps its potential utility as a political tool against repressive governments — could see changes soon, too.

The company may begin hiding abusive messages from users who remain hidden without biographical information or profile pictures to troll celebrities.

“It can end up being a place that’s easier for people to hide behind hate speech,” Costolo says. “We have to be thoughtful about all that.”

And about Twitter’s recent extended downtime, which was its longest in eight months? Costolo called it “horrendous, gut wrenching.”

Avoiding once-common outages has become increasingly important as Twitter grows in size, popularity and influence.

“It’s a metaphor for the entire company,” Costolo says. “My view is that the company is on its way to being one of the permanent residents of the digital media constellation.”

Do you think Twitter has longterm staying power and growth potential — or will it fade as other social networks rise? Share your prediction in the comments.

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