Nearly the whole world is following this company. Twitter operates a free digital service site that blends social networking with the ability to post short messages (or micro-blogs) limited to 140 characters or less, commonly known by users as "Tweets." Twitter's service works equally well on personal computers, mobile devices, and smartphones. The service has become a key communication platform as major events unfold live in real-time around the world. Currently Twitter claims more than 300 million users worldwide. Founded in 2006, Twitter went public in 2013, raising about $1.82 billion in the process.
The company took advantage of new SEC rules to keep its IPO plans and its finances secret for as long as possible, and it announced the filing of its S-1 with a tweet of its own. However, the company's stock has struggled since its IPO.
The company's headquarters are located in downtown San Francisco, California -- but Twitter is a truly global phenomenon. In its short life, the site's popularity has soared and its user base has grown exponentially.
Large news and media companies such as the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times regularly use the service to distribute and promote content, while Twitter also allows even the most remote or isolated individuals to get their message out.
Twitter generates 85% of its revenue from the sale of advertising (and most of that is from mobile advertising), with the remaining 15% coming from data licensing arrangements.
The company's advertising revenue comes from three streams: promoted tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends. Most advertising is sold on a pay-for-performance basis, which means advertisers are only charged when a user engages with their ad.
The data licensing business may be the company's secret sauce however, as marketers and even investors clamor for data they can analyze for insight into news events and trends.
Sales and Marketing
The company maintains a global sales force and sales support staff. Twitter has recently focused its international spending on sales support and marketing activities in specific countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the UK. In countries where it has not invested to build a local sales force, the company relies on resellers that serve as outside sales agents for the sale of its promoted products.
Maintaining its standing as a dominant player in the digital media world requires constant innovation and the service has undergone some redesign. The company's efforts to innovate and improve the Twitter user experience have mostly fallen flat.