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Can Twitter's Media Love-Fest Translate to Growth?

Tune in, turn on, tweet out.

Asa Mathat

Twitter has made it clear it wants to be big media’s best friend. And thus far, media companies seem to be cool with Twitter’s companion pitch, too.

But how valuable is that relationship to Twitter? Can a first-time user who stumbles into Twitter from a celebrity tweet embedded on a random website turn into a repeat user?

CEO Dick Costolo certainly thinks so.

“When there’s unique global content coming in … that’s conducive to bringing new users onto the platform,” Costolo said, in conversation with Kara Swisher at the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. “That’s one of the axes that we’re investing in to continue to drive growth.”

That description is a little murky, but picture this: Ellen DeGeneres takes an Oscar-night selfie with a bunch of celebrities and posts it to Twitter. It gets picked up by virtually every major media site, all of which embed the tweet onto their Web pages. And that exposes Twitter to tons of new people who may not use the service.

That’s good for Twitter, and it’s good for celebrities like Ryan Seacrest, whose tweets also regularly appear embedded in websites.

“Conversation about your show is important,” Seacrest said at the conference on Wednesday. “Whether that translates into a rating point … I don’t know. But it certainly has upside to it.”

Twitter is trying to improve the chances that a person who sees a tweet for the first time will sign up and start using the service.

It is crucial. Twitter’s user growth numbers are moving too slow for Wall Street’s liking. The company’s stock price since the beginning of the year has reflected as much.

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