Today Twitter did something we're not used to from the company, it showed some business savvy, with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announcing the company's mobile strategy is working, and the company is predicted to be bringing in $1 billion in revenue by 2014. This was some particularly shrewd timing by the microblogging company because not only does it show Twitter's doing something right, but in light of Facebook's admitted failure to monetize its mobile offerings, suddenly Twitter looks like it has the smartest social media business strategy all along. That's a surprising turn of events because in tech business world, Twitter has never really been taken seriously as a viable business. A few months ago Gawker's Ryan Tate wrote a whole big takedown, calling the site the "World's Worst Tech or Media Business," which centered around some leaked financials that showed Twitter hadn't made much of any money for the last three years. That followed a Wall Street Journal story about Facebook's "slow road to IPO," a euphemism for its inability to monetize. But following Facebook's attempts at playing business, we're starting to see what it means to succeed as a company rather than just a popular-in-the-zeitgeist website. And from the looks of it, Twitter is looking like the social media company with both the social media and the business strategy parts figure out.
As more people get smartphones and as those magic computer pocket devices get faster and better and prettier, mobile devices are becoming people's primary Internet portal. People spend more time scrolling through phone apps than reading print, found a study from last winter. This Flurry data found that phone browsing has already surpassed time spent on the computer. Mobile is the future. Or, really the now. And wily little Twitter is monetizing it before anyone else. "We're borne of mobile," Twitter's Dick Costolo said at a conference hosted by The Economist. "We have an ad platform that already is inherently suited to mobile, even though we launched our platform on the Web and only started running ads on mobile recently." Twitter started offering advertiser promoted tweets for the mobile app last March. Only a few months in and its already working.