Twitter Boss Claims to Save Live TV

Dennis Faas's picture

The chief executive officer of Twitter says the site is helping maintain interest in live TV broadcasts, even in the era of the personal video recorder. Dick Costolo also claimed Twitter itself was making money -- though was unclear about the company's future financial strategies.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Costolo said that Twitter use had helped encourage people to once again watch TV shows at the time of their original airing, rather than catch up with them later. That's because watching "live" allows users to discuss the show with one another in real time, rather than avoid the site in the hope of steering clear of spoilers.

It's not just the US where this happens. Some viewers in France who receive Internet TV services from the same company are already able to have their Twitter feed appear on the TV screen alongside the programming, meaning there's no need to use a computer or mobile device to view messages.

Twitter Could Help TV Advertisers

If Costolo's argument is right -- and he backs his claim by pointing to a massive spike in Twitter use during popular shows such as "Glee" -- it could be great news for advertisers, who no longer have to worry about users of TiVo and similar devices fast-forwarding during commercials. Indeed, Costolo says tracking of Twitter posts shows users are not only viewing commercials but actively commenting about them. (Source:

Costolo was said to have been a little hazy about the company's plans for translating such interest into cash: at the moment, Twitter carries no direct advertising, but does allow companies to pay to have their messages appear at the top of the results list when people search for a relevant term.

Twitter CEO Claims Firm is "Making Money"

While there are claims Twitter isn't profitable, Costolo maintains that "we're already making money." Of course, that revenue isn't necessarily enough to turn a profit, and even if it was it could be a long time before the company recoups its start-up costs.

That's one of the main reasons many analysts believe the only credible long-term plan for the company is to attract a takeover bid. Intriguingly, Costolo specifically rejected reports of a $10 billion offer from Google as "just a rumor", but didn't give a clear answer to questions about a deal with Facebook. (Source:

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