Twitter looking to friend Facebook

Twitter wants to friend Facebook but the hot Internet stars have been unable to make a relationship work, a co-founder of the microblogging said Wednesday.

"We are talking to them often to see if there is a way to work together, but so far neither side has seen a way to do that," Twitter co-founder Evan Williams said about Facebook at a Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Williams noted that he was "frustrated" that Facebook blocked an integration of contact lists that would have allowed people to see whether friends from one service were also using the other.

"We'd like our users to tap into Facebook to make their Twitter experience better," Williams said.

"But I understand their position," he continued. "They see the social graph as their core asset."

Twitter's freshly instituted revenue model of letting businesses or people pay to "promote" tweets - terse text messages of no more than 140 characters - to eye-catching spots was "going great," according to Williams.

He contended there are "a million ways" for Twitter to make money.

Williams refused to answer questions about a TechCrunch report that Twitter is in line for a multi-billion-dollar round of venture capital funding, most likely headed by Russian investor Yuri Milner of DST Global.

During an on-stage chat at the Summit a day earlier, Milner dodged questions about his interest in buying a piece of Twitter.

Milner has stakes in social networking king Facebook; online games sensation Zynga, and Internet coupon startup Groupon.

"That is great company to be considered in," Williams said when moderator John Battelle pressed him about possible Milner backing.

"We have a lot of money in the bank," Williams quickly added.

Milner said he invests in "late-stage companies with billion-dollar-plus valuations in the social Internet space." Twitter fits that bill.

The number of people using Twitter around the world rocketed after the startup launched in San Francisco in mid-2006.

"I feel like we spent very little time improving the product because we had to spend all our time ramping up our team and infrastructure," Williams said of the years of explosive growth.

"We got to a point this year where we had time and resources to do improvements that weren't just superficial."

Coming improvements include integrating Google Translate tools into Twitter so "tweets" can be converted between languages, according to Williams.

People getting into real-world trouble for messages fired off on Twitter is an example of societies grappling with how the Internet is breaking down barriers to sharing information and thoughts.

"Getting more voices and ways to find the truth means there will be more truth available for more people," Williams said of Twitter.

"I think society is not yet prepared for everyone having a voice; that includes people having access to text messaging and alcohol. There are going to be some painful lessons."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Managed IT Services Provid...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

    £20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer / Developer

    £12000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: New Full-time, Part-time and Fr...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific