Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey doesn't really seem too worried about competition from other social media like Google Plus and Facebook. In fact, Dorsey said Twitter's ability to discover things in real time is what sets it apart from other social media platforms.
We definitely see social as just one part of what people do on Twitter, Dorsey said. We think of it as an information utility and a communications network.
Dorsey pointed out the differences between the micro-blogging website and other social networks during the Digital Life Design Conference in Munich, Germany.
When it comes to Twitter, Dorsey places emphasis on the words public, real time and simplicity, noting that the social network has always been about hosting public conversations in real time. Simply put, Twitter is also about discovering.
It comes from a very blogging-centric mindshare, Dorsey said. You need to compose, and you need to publish, and that goes out to the world, but the biggest value is discovering what's going on in your world in real time--opening up Twitter and figuring out the pulse of the planet.
Twitter is moving in the direction of making sure that people are getting the most relevant news, instantly.
When asked about Twitter's recent acquisition of Summify, a startup specializing in summarizing social media updates, Dorsey said his company's main goal is to ensure Twitter is always delivering the most relevant content to people. Twitter acquired Summify just days before Dorsey's speech in Munich.
And to do it instantly, he added. This is not an easy problem. This is something that's extremely complicated in real time.
We have this huge corpus of users all over the world that are constantly sharing. Everything they're seeing. They're sharing 140 characters, but they're also sharing pictures and videos, and you watch these events unfold, Dorsey said. So it's an amazing technology to bring you closer to whatever's happening. But, we need to make sure that the message, all the meaning, all that data, all that information, is the most relevant aspect of whatever event you're following or whatever account you're following.
Is there a sustainable revenue stream?
With the recent acquisition and additions made to the network, can Twitter sustain itself over the long term?
Dorsey believes that the company will continue to see positive revenue trends as long as Twitter continues to build a platform for engagement and discovery. When asked about 2012 and whether the company would be focusing on making money or attracting users, Dorsey said it was an unfair question.
You have to do both. Our CEO [Dick Costolo] has a great quote about this, Dorsey said. Revenue is not just a destination, it's oxygen. It feeds the product, it feeds the model and vice versa. You can't build the revenue aspect without building the product, and you can't build he product without sustaining it with revenue.
You need both to live, he added. They're a perfect cycle.
There's only 8 million merchants who are accepting credit card [payments] in the U.S., and 1 million of them are Square merchants. He went on to say that the company is creating new businesses and creating new jobs because of their success. Dorsey briefly alluded to the desire of offering the Square service in Europe, though no time table was given for such an effort.
Square launched in May 2010 and is currently available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android-based mobile phones. The company currently has roughly 100 employees and is based out of San Francisco, which is also where Twitter is based.
To view Dorsey's entire discussion, watch the video below: