Webeden Blog Social Media 5 things Twitter doesn’t want you to know

5 things Twitter doesn’t want you to know

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Social Media

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

  • http://www.portbannatynemarina.co.uk Alison Cross

    Techcrunch have used some common sense (or at least their legal team have!) and outlined the documents that they won’t be publishing – security things, job interview details etc.

    If it costs $1 per annum per twitterer, that’s $25m to be shelled out by the end of the year – from a company that’s not got any revenue raising ability (yet).

    They’ll run into the same problems that the Facebook people have. Folk love the system, but they don’t want to be advertised at all the time. Or have their details sold……

    Now, ethically, I do think that it’s wrong to take confidential company business and pass it on – unless it is in the public’s interest for that to happen. Was it in the public interest for us to know these things? It’s interesting, but it only shows them to be (perhaps) a little deluded in their plan for world domination – and will, no doubt, affect their ability to raise more capital from investors. Perhaps this is the goal – to force Twitter’s hand into revealing its money-making potential if the investing dries up?

    But, let’s not forget, as Oscar Wilde once said, there is only one thing worse than being talked about and that’s not being talked about.


  • admin

    Always nice to have a literary reference – I feel a bit more intelligent now ;-)

    So did we do the wrong thing by publishing this stuff on here? Or is it innocuous enough to not matter?


  • http://www.alisoncross.webeden.co.uk Alison Cross

    It becomes increasingly difficult to think of things in absolutes as you get older, Ken :-) One can always think of mitigating circumstances for just about every type of behaviour…

    However, when people are just trying to run their business AND minding their own business, how ethical is it to filtch their stuff – including their security data, personnel records etc – by HACKING in? The hacker didn’t discover that Twitter was being run by Osama Bin Laden or that they were smuggling children on the side – they stole confidential things that were most definitely NOT in the public’s interest to expose.

    Hmmmm – Perhaps we are missing the point here. Perhaps the point is NOT what was nicked, but the fact that the hacker could get access to this information? Twitter still have security issues, even outside of their product?


  • admin

    I think that’s you letting me off the hook!

    You’re right about the security issue – and its a point you’ve raised before. Maybe Twitter is so young that they haven’t had time / prioritised these kinds of things. As soon as you go from underdog to main player, peoples attitudes towards you shift.


  • http://www.flowers2go.webeden.co.uk lynnejenkinson

    webeden..Great…..Hacker Go and do something worthwhile with your time, maybe some voluntary work in a charity shop