As you may have seen this weekend on Techcrunch, or Read Write Web, Twitter is preparing to raise another round of capital, probably at least $20M. Based on the funding, its valuation is now $250M. Not too shabby in a weak economy! Techcrunch is reporting that the new investor is Institutional Venture Partners. Jeremiah Owyang performed a quick analysis and determined that each active Twitter user is valued at $73.52. As Lidija Davis states on Read Write Web, the only way VCs would fund Twitter in our current economic climate would be if they could see a clear and detailed business plan that solidifies its revenue model. Hopefully, we will get to see that revenue model pretty soon! Louis Gray even has competing posts, Twitter is worth a lot more than $250M and There is no Way Twitter is worth $250M. Talk about playing both sides!
Rather than speculating on the revenue model, I’d rather recommend some missing functions and other investments that Twitter desperately needs. My fantasy baseball friend, Don Reisinger, wrote last week in his CNET column, 5 Twitter Improvements we’re still waiting for:
- Groups – allow likeminded communities to form on Twitter
- Tweet Filter – Block specific types of tweets like those from Blip.fm
- Unfollow Notice – Daily Qwitter type stats
- Profile Stats- Data around your Twitter page
- 200 characters – Why limit ourselves to the SMS limitations
- Page Views - raw page view numbers for my profile
- Inbound Links - who is linking to my profile and how many are there
- Referrals - followers acquired from other users’ tweets
- Bounce Rate - how many people get to my profile and leave, and how long did they stick around
- GeoTargeting - where are people viewing my profile from
- Click Tracking - how many people click on links I share? (TweetBurner)
- Re-Tweet Tracking - how many retweets am I getting and who is doing it
- Search Traffic - how many people arrive to my profile via Twitter Search or Google Search and from what keywords
- Reports - Example: bounce rate vs new follower ratio
- Trending Followers - like twittercounter, only baked in
- Unfollowers – qwitter
Louis Gray has called for Twitter to implement OAuth, the open protocol that allows for secure API authorization, as a way to mitigate some of the recent security issues in the ecosystem due to users having to enter their password on third party sites.
Personally, I think they are all great ideas. Who can’t agree with improving security and making it more difficult for spammers? If I had to suggest a few other things it would be:
- Integration of real search into Twitter instead of the current Find people
- An address book so I could readily and easily find my Twitter friends, especially when travelling so I know who to ask about a local tweet-up.
- A functional Suggested Users so I could see who we follow in common (kind of like Facebook’s People you may know).
- Ability to have Plurk like threaded conversations.
How do you think Twitter should spend the new investment? What features would you like to see Twitter add? Which deficiencies must be fixed for you? What new features would really enhance the overall experience?