The company has now raised over $106 million in venture fundingRead more...
At the same time, Twitter CEO Dorsey reinvests in the company, sending its stock up 4%
While things at Twitter seem to be in a bit of a freefall lately, with its stock hitting an all-time low last week, there is one sign of life: no matter what happens, or how much user growth slows, the company always seems to be able to snap up significant media partnerships.
The company has now entered into a a new multi-year partnership with The National Football League (NFL), it was announced on Monday.
It will allow Twitter to deliver uniquely packaged official NFL video and other types of content to fans daily, on a year-round basis. The two entities had already partnered up a few years ago, in 2013, through the Twitter Amplify program, its video advertising product that it had launched for media companies and consumer brands.
This is an extension of that deal, but it now includes more content then before, including ingame highlights from pre-season through the Super Bowl, as well as breaking news and analysis, best plays, custom game recaps, fun infographics, behind-the-scenes content, and archival video.
The two companies also said that they "will continue to collaborate on new discovery features and user experiences to broaden access of NFL content to millions of fans"
The press release made no mention of how many years this latest extension covers, but a Twitter spokesperson has confirmed to VatorNews that this was a two year deal.
This is a significant move for Twitter for a few reasons. First is the sheer popularity of the National Football League which, much to my dismay, has pretty much replaced baseball as the national pasttime.
The press release cites The Nielsen Company as showing that the 2014 NFL regular season reached 202.3 million unique viewers, representing 80 percent of all television homes and 68 percent of potential viewers in the U.S.
Not only that, but NFL games accounted for the top 20 and 45 of the 50 most-watched TV shows among all programming last fall. The NFL draws huge numbers, and Twitter has to be hoping that exclusive content will help drive up its stagnating user numbers.
There is also speculation that Twitter could be planning to use NFL content in its so-called "Project Lightning" initiative, which is designed to curate live events and news by aggregating tweets and photos from live events and breaking-news situations. Putting exclusive breaking news from the NFL into this feature makes a lot of sense.
The deal with the NFL wasn't the only bit of good news for Twitter on Monday. Jack Dorset, it's interim CEO, revealed that he had upped his stake in the company he co-founded, saying that he was "“investing in @twitter’s future.”
According to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dorsey spent around $875,000 to buy 31,627 shares.
Both of these pieces of news have had a positive effect on Twitter's stock, which is now up 4.63%, or $1.25, to $28.27 a share. We will have to see if its enough to push the stock above $30 for the first time since the end of last month.
(Image source: adweek.com)
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
How do you make money from Twitter?
There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.