turn a profit in 2009, Twitter has announced that it will be hiring Pixar finance head Ali Rowghani as its chief financial officer.Two months after announcing that the startup managed to
Twitter's CEO Evan Williams told Reuters today that the new hire represents the company's direction toward "creating value for our users and capturing the financial opportunities that result from it."Rowghani will join Twitter officially in March.
Last year, Twitter's search deals with Google and Microsoft made the company around $25 million - about $15 million from Google and $10 million from Microsoft. These two deals were enough to make the company profitable last year. For a fairly young company that offers a simple, free web application for end users, this is quite a feat.
Other revenue channels include creating a revenue-sharing scheme that would let Twitter share the profits generated by third-party applications. The details of this plan are still under wraps, but Twitter's platform director Ryan Sarver announced at LeWeb that the company would announce details about this plan early in 2010.
Other possible sources of revenue are multi-user accounts, which Twitter has been testing internally.
Twitter has also recently made another high-profile hire, calling on Current TV's Robin Sloan to work on media partnerships, covering "everything at the intersection of Twitter and media, from live events on TV to citizen journalism on the web."
We're excited to see how the startup that's managed to become a cultural zeitgeist within a few short years will continue to grow and profit. Particularly in its early days, many who lived through the dotcom crash were skeptical about the monetization potential of a free web service. Without incorporating advertising - something that no users wanted to see - Twitter has managed to create a sustainable business.
We can't wait to see what ideas Rowghani will bring to the table.