Twitter S-1 outlines “The Evolution of Content Creation”
When high powered MBA’s and Investment bankers get together to describe modern internet companys at IPO time there is an almost surreal absurdness which appears in placing the new company in context for waiting investors. I know because it’s a technique I admit to having used as many of you have.
You are taking something new and attempting to frame it in context of how this shiny new thing fits into the grand plan. (I now officially hate Scoble for making me hate my previously favourite word)
The following is the MBA version of Twitter in context of how it’s the next big thing for investors.
The Evolution of Content Creation, Distribution and Discovery
The Internet and digitization have allowed for virtually all content to be made available online, but the vast array of content has made it difficult for people to find what is important or relevant to them. Over time, technologies have been developed to address this challenge:
Web Browsers. In the early to mid-1990s, browsers, including Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer, presented content on the Internet in a visually appealing manner and allowed people to navigate to specific websites, but the content experience was generally not personalized or tailored to a person’s interests and information was often difficult to find.
Web Portals. In the mid to late-1990s, Yahoo!, AOL, MSN and other web portals aggregated and categorized popular content and other communication features to help people discover relevant information on the Internet. These portals, while convenient, and with some ability to personalize, offer access to a limited amount of content.
Search Engines. In the early-2000s, Google and other search engines began providing a way to search a vast amount of content, but search results are limited by the quality of the search algorithm and the amount of content in the search index. In addition, given the lag between live events and the creation and indexing of digital content, search engine results may lack real-time information. Also, search engines generally do not surface content that a person has not requested, but may find interesting.
Social Networks. In the mid-2000s, social networks, such as Facebook, emerged as a new way to connect with friends and family online, but they are generally closed, private networks that do not include content from outside a person’s friends, family and mutual connections. Consequently, the depth and breadth of content available to people is generally limited. Additionally, content from most social networks is not broadly available off their networks, such as on other websites, applications or traditional media outlets like television, radio and print.
Twitter Continues the Evolution
Twitter continues the evolution of content creation, distribution and discovery by combining the following four elements at scale to create a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. We believe Twitter can be the content creation, distribution and discovery platform for the Internet and evolving mobile ecosystem.
- Public. Twitter is open to the world. Content on Twitter is broadly accessible to our users and unregistered visitors. All users can create Tweets and follow other users. In addition, because the public nature of Twitter allows content to travel virally on and off our properties to other websites and media, such as television and print, people can benefit from Twitter content even if they are not Twitter users or following the user that originally tweeted.
- Real-Time. News breaks on Twitter. The combination of our tools, technology and format enables our users to quickly create and distribute content globally in real time with 140 keystrokes or the flash of a photo, and the click of a button. The ease with which our users can create content combined with our broad reach results in users often receiving content faster than other forms of media.
- Conversational. Twitter is where users come to express themselves and interact with the world. Our users can interact on Twitter directly with other users, including people from around the world, as well as influential individuals and organizations. Importantly, these interactions can occur in public view, thereby creating an opportunity for all users to follow and participate in conversations on Twitter.
- Distributed. Tweets go everywhere. The simple format of a Tweet, the public nature of content on Twitter and the ease of distribution off our properties allow media outlets to display Tweets on their online and offline properties, thereby extending the reach of Tweets beyond our properties. A 2013 study conducted by Arbitron Inc. and Edison Research found that 44% of Americans hear about Tweets through media channels other than Twitter almost every day.