Twitter a complement to news outlets, CEO says

Dick Costolo

Dick Costolo, the chief executive officer of Twitter, said in a recent interview that he sees the social media platform  as “very complementary to the news outlets.”

Speaking to Jeremy Hobson of Marketplace Morning Report, Costolo also said he believes Twitter allows for a multi-perspective view of events such as debates. A transcript of the interview can be found here.

Costolo said news coverage is often representative of “a filtered, one-way view of events in the world from the media,” but Twitter has provided a voice for just about everyone else . “So I think the major transition for society has been one of from a single point of view in a filtered way to a multi-perspective, inside-out, unfiltered view of what people think of the event,” he said.

Twitter is a microblogging platform, so it makes sense that Costolo would say it provides an outlet for anyone and everyone to express their opinion. The service certainly is a tool for self-expression , too.

But these comments seem to contradict another statement Costolo made last week. When asked in a separate session about the biggest misconception of Twitter, Costolo said, “That you have to tweet to use Twitter.”

If users don’t have to tweet to effectively use Twitter, then they are receiving, not generating ideas. That seems more like a simple extension of traditional news media then a distinct complement.

I don’t think Costolo’s two points about Twitter are so concrete, however, and the platform serves multiple needs: consuming, commenting on, and creating news.

As for the point that users don’t need to publish statements on Twitter to use the service effectively, Drew Olanoff, of TechCrunch, sums up the importance of Costolo’s comment nicely: “That statement is important as we watch the service transform itself into more than just a communication medium or a social network. It’s a news source, and a way to discover new people and things.”

A CEO’s vision is obviously very important for any company. Dick Costolo’s comments last week make it clear that journalism is a part of Twitter’s future, just as the platform is a player in the future of the media.

Photo (cc) by Joi and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

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