Biz Stone: 'Twitter Is Not For Sale'
"Twitter is not for sale": That's the word from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, dismissing recent rumors that the company was in talks with Google or Facebook for that very reason.
Stone cleared the air in an interview with NPR, elaborating further the company's stance on a potential sale:
We don't have a shingle out on our front that says 'Twitter. For Sale.' We're not for sale and we haven't been. We're very, very interested in building an independent company. We've proven, beyond a doubt, that Twitter is an important communication medium used around the world. What we still have yet to prove is that we can build a very successful business on top of this. And for us, in addition to both of those things, we're adding a new layer of ambition for our team and that is that we want to have a positive global impact. We want to make a very successful business on top of this, and we want to have a lot of fun and enjoy our work and do meaningful work along the way.
As for those sky-high valuations that speculation has assigned to Twitter?
"We're not valued at $10 billion," said Stone. "That's just what people are writing in the newspapers, which unfortunately has the negative impact of my friends thinking I must have $10 billion."
Stone also spoke about the attention Twitter and other social media vehicles have received recently in the wake of the unrest in Egypt, musing on the way such technology has made the world a smaller, more connected place:
We are now living in an age where there are 5 billion mobile phones. They all have SMS, they all are capable of accessing the Twitter network -- all of these people getting connected and sharing their information. And that means that I can be waiting in line at the grocery store and I can take out my iPhone and scan the tweets and see what's happening halfway around the world, and I can put myself in the shoes of someone who is trying to overthrow a repressive regime, and I can suddenly have an empathy with that person that I would not otherwise necessarily have had. ... People all around the world are realizing that we're not just necessarily citizens of a particular state or a particular country, but citizens of the world. And this is a growing feeling, and I think that the Internet and social media tools are making the world a smaller place and allowing us to feel this empathy.
Listen to the full interview here.