Amazon’s Bezos Throws Some Money At Twitter
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has thrown a little love (and presumably a lot of money) at Twitter. Twitter creator Biz Stone made the announcement via his blog that Bezos Expeditions, Bezos’s investment firm, joined Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet on the Twitter investment team.
It couldn’t come at a better time as recently developers have seemed frustrated with the amount of downtime Twitter logs. Though Twitter proved its ability to stay live during heavy tweeting periods like Steve Job’s keynote address thanks to some temporary technical tweaking (live stats being sacrificed, for example), Twitterers have seen a lot of the whale-hoisting birds lately, with the "Twitter is over capacity" notice lately.
This, besides the initial "I don’t get it" reaction most have to the microblogging application, has been Twitter’s only real, recurring issue. Once users finally do get it, they tend to love it. Bezos and Sabet, whose other investments include Bug Labs, Buzzwire, and Tumblr, seem to think the downtime dilemma can be resolved with a little monetary assistance.
Stone says as much in his blog post, acknowledging the challenges and addressing the need for funding to overcome them:
Twitter will become a sustainable business supported by a revenue model. However, our biggest opportunities will be worth pursuing only when we achieve our vision of Twitter as a global communication utility. To reach our goal, Twitter must be reliable and robust. Private funding gives us the runway we need to stay focused on the infrastructure that will help our business take flight. We will continue hiring systems engineers, operators, and architects, as well as consultants, scientists, and other professionals to help us realize our vision.
Stone didn’t elaborate on what that revenue model would entail beyond the already in-place advertisements at work in Japan. Stone has said repeatedly Twitter would not introduce an ad model for the original US version.
Sabet perhaps hinted at his investment yesterday in a blog post about the future of message boards. "Online communities continue to gain speed and size though and that’s the key thing to pay attention to. But they need more applications, tools & services. They should start twittering together, searching together, shopping together, playing together and learning together."