Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Twitter To Last Longer Than Peter Thiel

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 1, 2013

Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel said that Twitter would last longer than the New York Times, a news publication started in 1851, which is more than 163 years.  [The New York Times - Wikipedia.]

CNN's Maureen Farrell reported:  

In a debate with [Marc] Andreessen at the Milken Institute Global Conference Monday, [Peter] Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, said he expects that Twitter's roughly 1,000 employees will have jobs a decade from now. The business case for Twitter is solid, Thiel said.

He contrasted the future of Twitter with that of The New York Times, a print media vanguard that he says is not guaranteed a future in the digital age... Thiel, who doesn't tweet or own shares of the company, said the company's estimated $10 billion current valuation was fair.

Peter Thiel: Twitter will outlast the New York Times

Foremski's Take:  The New York Times will be around for a long time, even though it certainly won't be in its current form.

The New York Times Company is valued at 1/10th of Twitter's valuation but it has a far higher social value in terms of trust. You won't find fake news in the New York Times.

On Twitter you can't trust anything because there is no editorial process. Twitter as a media brand has little value since it is an aggregate of the micro-brands of the personalities and companies that use the platform, and of those only some are real.

People and companies are fickle users of social media platforms while the "users" of the New York Times are often characterized by life-long loyalties.

Twitter has a higher market valuation because its costs are far less than the New York Times, it employs far fewer staff, and it doesn't face the considerable challenges of traditional media businesses. 

The New York Times' legacy costs of business, primarily its massive pension obligations, will likely force a change in its fortunes faster than its ability to transition to new business models.

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This new service might help Twitter's credibility problem. Brian Fung at The Atlantic, reports: 

Retwact tries to contain the damage (and shame) that comes along with spreading information that later turns out to be untrue.

Here's how it works. Once you've given it permission to look at your account, the app culls your five most recent tweets that have garnered retweets...

You can tap out a hand-written apology or send the correction as-is. When you publish the notice, it goes from your account to all your followers. Meanwhile, Retwact's own Twitter account (@Retwact) reaches out with an @-mention to the first 100 people who retweeted your (incorrect) tweet.

Retwact: A Tool for Fixing Twitter's Misinformation Problem - Brian Fung - The Atlantic

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