Twitter CEO: 'Too much' effort convincing new users to stay

Dick Costolo says the company is finding it a challenge to convince newcomers the microblogging service can be an "indispensable" tool, but holds out hopes of getting a billion users on board eventually.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Twitter is unconcerned if the company has as many users as YouTube or Facebook, but CEO Dick Costolo reveals that "too much" effort and investments are needed currently to turn newcomers to core users .

In an interview published by Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Tuesday, Costolo said in terms of user growth, he does not think about Twitter's goals in terms of other companies such as Facebook or YouTube.

"Where we want to get to is human scale, global scale. That's a billion users, not where we are today," he said.

However, the investment needed to convert a newcomer to the microblogging service to a "core user" is too much right now, he said. "Once you become a core user, [Twitter] is indispensable. But you have to invest, frankly, too much to get that 'aha' moment."

To address this challenge, the company is spending a "great deal of time" on its weekly digest e-mails for casual users, the report noted. He said this is a way for people to start realizing the usefulness of the service and start using it more frequently.

Censorship and China
Costolo also said the company would "love" for the people in places such as China and Iran to be able to access Twitter. But it was not going to make the kinds of sacrifice it might have to make to be available in these markets, he added.

The CEO did concede that as it grows internationally, the company will see increased scrutiny of its service.

For instance, in Germany, the law forbids the promoting of Nazi speech and when someone clicks on a tweet it had taken down via a legal request, the person will get a message saying the tweet is not visible because of the request. But the message will be available to users outside of Germany though, he told WSJ.

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