Social networking sites have become wildly popular in recent years, allowing people to connect with loved ones and friends they haven't seen in ages. Social networking has also become a huge marketing tool. But the competition is fierce, and Twitter is looking to become a larger player in the competitive social networking ring.
Sites like MySpace, which has recently shifted its focus toward entertainment, and Facebook, which has over 500 million active users and a movie made about its creation, have dominated the social networking industry for some time now. While Twitter has risen in popularity since its launch in July 2006, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is looking to make the microblogging website more "mainstream."
Twitter is the place for short messages of 140 characters or less, and a way to stay up-to-date with friends, family and even celebrities who are avid Twitterers like Conan O'Brien and Charlie Sheen. Twitter has certainly made a presence in the social networking world with more than 200 million registered users, but according to a research firm called eMarketer, very few of these users are active. In fact, "less than 25 percent of Twitter users generate about 90 percent of tweets."
Now, Dorsey has stepped in after nearly a three-year absence in an effort to make Twitter more appealing to the masses. He will act as Twitter's executive chairman, and supervise product development from here on out. Dorsey was initially Twitter's chief executive until Evan Williams replaced him in 2008.
"We need to refocus on the value and that is my goal in the next few months," said Dorsey.
Despite increased competition and lack of appeal to the masses, Twitter has still grown significantly since its launch. In December 2010, the microblogging site was valued at $3.7 billion in a $200 million funding round by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm. Earlier this month, investors valued the company at $7.7 billion at an auction of Twitter shares.
"We have a lot of mainstream awareness, but mainstream relevancy is still a challenge," said Dorsey.