Twitter definitely is big in the U.S. and many other countries, but don’t count on it becoming legally available in China in the near future, said CEO Dick Costolo today at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. “In my conversations over there in Shanghai, I don’t think Twitter or Facebook will be unblocked [on Chinese Internet servers] anytime soon,” said Costolo, responding to a question from an audience member who said she was with the Chinese Internet company TenCent. “So my conversations over there are about the kinds of business we can do.” For Twitter, that means talking with “lots of Chinese-based advertisers who are delivering ads overseas,” Costolo said. He then added carefully, “That was the majority of our conversations over there.” As for the rest of his Shanghai conversations, Costolo hinted that Twitter executives did meet with Chinese representatives about how it could finally be available there. “We’re in the very beginning stages of what it would look like over there.”
Investors, who haven’t been happy with Twitter’s quarterly earnings since it went public a few months ago, also shouldn’t count on seeing ads anytime soon on Vine, Twitter’s fast-growing short-video service that launched 17 months ago. “On Vine, we’re very much focused on growing the platform,” Costolo said. “We’re working on better content-creation tools, tools for stop-motion animation. The people on the platform are in the content-creation business and we want to facilitate that. Monetization will come later, as we did with Twitter.”
Costolo declined to talk about rumors that Twitter might acquire the music-discovery site Soundcloud.com, where thousands of musicians and podcast creators regularly upload their work for audiences to listen to. Costolo merely said he’d known the site’s German founder “a long time and think the world of him and what he’s done.”
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