Rise of smartphones sees Twitter value surge

by PYB James | Dec 01, 2010

As 2010 draws to a close – a year which has seen a dramatic global increase in the use of smartphones and tablet technology – the figures for global internet population continues to rise, as does the valuation of social networking and microblogging site Twitter.

The technology ‘start-up’ may not be brushing shoulders quite yet with the giants of the corporate world but its user base is now reported to be at around the 175 million mark (compare that to Facebook’s 600 million users) and the San Francisco based company is now valued by analysts as being worth £2.4bn ($3.7bn).

Having started four years ago, Twitter has gone from strength to strength in 2010, and with a staff of just 350 is now said to be worth $2.7bn more than it was around twelve months ago. Nonetheless, despite its ubiquity and its penetration into mainstream consciousness it still isn’t generating any profit.

However, such is its credibility and growth rate venture capitalists have reportedly just injected around $200m (£128m) into Twitter as investors seek to get their hands on one of the hottest technology stocks in the world.

That Twitter’s growth and recent success has coincided with the growth of the smartphone – iPhone, Blackberry and Android handset usage has soared in 2010 – is no surprise as the platform can be easily accessed, consumed and updated by users on the move.

Twitter has become increasingly used by celebrities, brands, journalists, politicians, marketers and every day users this year, having also surged in popularity in 2009. The service has swelled in user numbers by 100 million in less than a year as non-English speaking cultures also have started to embrace it.

The ‘microblogging’ format is ideal not only for smartphone users, tablet device users and rushed internet users in general, it could also merge increasingly with TV content with the rise on IPTV (internet television) services in the coming years. Twitter is poised perfectly to allow streaming comments from users who are simultaneously watching television in separate locations but wish to share their thoughts and reactions to what they are viewing.

Twitter has attempted to start making money this year by subtly introducing paid for (or promoted) trending topics. Watch this space for more Twitter developments in 2011.

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