A couple of weeks ago, something unfortunate happened to Twitter. A person calling himself / herself ‘Hacker Croll’ hacked into Twitter’s network and then copied 310 private company files, including emails, memos, partner agreements and meeting notes. He / she then packaged up all these secret files and sent them over to newsbreaking site TechCrunch.
And TechCrunch decided to publish those ‘secrets’.
So often creating the news, Twitter has become a news topic. Their ‘secrets’ are all over the Internet. Here are some of the more interesting ones:
1. Twitter: how big are they going to be? According to their internal figure, Twitter reckon they will have 25million users by the end of 2009; up to 100m by the end of 2010; and a truly staggering 350 million by the end of 2011. Facebook is currently the largest social networking site with 200m users: Twitter think they will be twice as big as that by the end of 2011. But it doesn’t stop there: by the end of 2013 they hope to have 1billion users – 1 in every 7 who walks the planet!
2. Although Twitter is yet to sell anything to anybody at all, they expect to make revenues of $140m in 2010, of which $46m will be profit. Nice eh? That’s nothing – by 2013 they hope to be pulling in $1.54billion, and be employing 5,200 people. I would love to sit in a board meeting when someone is presenting these figures: “And here you see the graph go up… and up… and up…”
3. They’re currently sitting on a cash pile of $45m. Since they are yet to sell anything, this is all money raised from investors. Whilst $45m is just a fraction of the revenues they hope to make, no wonder they aren’t in a hurry to start selling stuff – the wolf is a long way from the door. Co-founder Biz Stone confirmed this in a recent interview with Revolution Magazine: We’re not under any pressure to hit a home run. We want to take our time and get this right”.
4. Twitter estimates that the cost of providing their service freely to each user is about $1 per user per year. And that’s despite the fact that some users post hundreds of Tweets every single day.
5. Twitter has recently kicked around the idea of a themed reality-TV show dubbed the ‘Final Tweet’. The idea, pitched to them by a US production company, involves a clash between teams of entrepreneurs who compete for a $100,000 cash prize.
The fact that all this private stuff has been moved to the public domain might be a bit embarrassing for Twitter. Whilst not denying their veracity, Biz Stone is saying that these files are very much out of date. “Obviously, these docs are not polished or ready for prime time and they’re certainly not revealing some big, secret plan for taking over the world,” he said.
What do you think about Techcrunch deciding to make it all public? Does WebEden fit into the same boat since we’re republishing them here? Does this change your view of Twitter? Leave us a comment below