Twitter will hit a billion users, co-founder predicts

In a fireside chat in San Francisco, Twitter's co-founders offer tidbits about the company, including predictions of Facebook-esque member growth.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Twitter may have just 160 million users now, but co-founder Evan Williams is already eyeing a day when the service caters to a billion.

Williams, who recently gave up the reins as chief executive, made the comment Monday night during an appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Joining him was co-founder Biz Stone as they chatted about Twitter's new design, its lack of censorship, Williams' job shift, and a myriad of other topics, as covered by ZDNet.

On Twitter's new look and feel, the two said they had been prepared for a backlash from users, but so far the reaction has been positive, with not even one group set up to protest the changes. When asked how the company has dealt with potential censorship of inappropriate tweets, Stone and Williams said that no one moderates the tweets but that they will ban tweets with specific violent threats, with links to child pornography, and with links to copyrighted content for which they receive takedown orders.

Williams also spoke about his decision to hand over the CEO job to former COO Dick Costolo. In short, Williams said he felt the role of CEO would increasingly demand more of his focus on operations and personnel management. Williams is still at Twitter but is now focused on product strategy--an area that he has described as of greater interest to him.

Williams' stated goal of a billion Twitter users may have been the boldest statement of the night. His projection echoed comments made by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg about his own company, though Facebook has a headstart, having reached half a billion users in July. To distinguish his service, Williams did say that his company's billion users would be different than Facebook's.

Correction at 8:50 a.m. PDT October 14: The day of the event has been fixed.