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After experiencing growing pains typical for any startup, Twitter may now be settling into a more reliable business pattern. The company’s first five years were epitomized by top executive turnover, service outages, and even a security breach releasing important key documents, but with the promotion of Dick Costolo as chief executive in 2010, a sense of stability has emerged.
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What has Twitter done to outgrow its growing pains? BusinessWeek‘s Brad Stone writes, “The company has added seasoned executives, pushed its unique symbology like the hashtag (#) and at-symbol handle (@) into the mainstream, and rolled out new advertising products to the delight of big brands, including General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Budweiser (NYSE:BUD), which advertised heavily on the microblog service during this year’s Super Bowl.”
Research firm eMarketer says Twitter is on pace to make $260 million in 2012, which Stone says indicates that the company is definitely on the advertising radar of major companies. Twitter’s product vice president Satya Patel said, “Our ad business is only about 18 months old — 2011 was the year we began scaling it. And 2012 is the year when we demonstrate that it’s a juggernaut.”
Like many Internet startups, revenue was not at the forefront of Twitter’s mission statement in the first five years, but now it seems the company is ready to make a little money. Still, when asked about increasing revenue, Costolo said he will, “probably continue to be more patient than people would expect me to be,” adding that he has no immediate plans for a public offering. Costolo may live by the “slow and steady” mantra, but Twitter has a lot of things going for it already.
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