Google isn’t the only one wishing Facebook was more open. Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams wishes the social giant would share its contact lists. Allowing Facebook users to find friends who have Twitter accounts would be a big help, he claimed, when asked at the Web 2.0 Summit. But he understands Zuckerberg’s reluctance to share.
“They see their social graph as their core asset, and they want to make sure there’s a win-win relationship with anybody who accesses it,” he said. “We’re talking to them often to see if there is a way to work together, but so far neither side has found out a way to do that other than what we’ve done already.”
“We’ve gotten demand from companies that want to look at this data to learn about trends and analytics for marketers and other companies,” Williams said. “There’s a million ways to slice and dice this data and a lot of companies in that business and we’re not really in that business.”
Gnip is not allowed to repost tweets; it can only analyze them. Twitter also licenses its stream of tweets to Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.
Williams was also asked if Twitter is seeking another round of funding, specifically pointing to a report that Yuri Milner, a Russian investor, was looking to buy a share in the company. Milner has investments in Zynga, Facebook, and Groupon. Williams dodged the question, only commenting: “that is great company to be considered in.”
Finally, he spoke about Twitter’s rapid growth, noting that the company has only recently had time to improve Twitter, which launched in mid-2006.
“I feel like we spent very little time improving the product because we had to spend all our time ramping up our team and infrastructure,” Williams said of the years of explosive growth. “We got to a point this year where we had time and resources to do improvements that weren’t just superficial.”
In the near future, he hopes to integrate Google Translate into the site so that Tweets can be converted into multiple languages.