Twitter CEO Ev Williams demonstrated a new platform today that will spread the microblogging network’s profiles, tweets and possibly advertising across the web. It’s taking the hovercards it launched on the site earlier this year (pictured right), which are little pop-ups that show extended information about a person, and distributing them across websites that link to Twitter profiles.
Speaking onstage at the South by Southwest conference, Williams said, “At Anywhere reduces friction. Some of the obvious things are, you can tweet from the column itself. The big thing is that you might want to follow the columnist.” Williams said it might result in more followers for a site and more conversation around a publisher’s content.
“The value we’re really focusing on today is increasing the signal-to-noise ratio and giving people really valuable stuff with as little effort as possible,” he said.
Williams said he runs the company by building relatively independent teams that are free to attack different parts of company’s strategy from mobile to internationalization to platform. He added that he doesn’t really code anymore and stressed that he considered Twitter an information network, rather than a social network.
“Your product should be able to finish this sentence: ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome if — ?’” he said. “And it can’t be, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome if I had $1 million?’”
He said he spends half his time focused on building the product and the other half focused on the company’s culture.
“How do we define the characteristics that we want? There’s a parallel between the characteristics of the company and the characteristics of its product,” he said “We try to be as open and transparent internally as we do with our product to the world.”
Umair Haque, who interviewed Williams onstage, pressed him on why he pursued this philosophy of being more open and giving away data and tweets.
“We don’t know the best use for this stuff. There’s a million different things to do. Why limit it?” he said. “There are real businesses to be built.” Williams pointed to vertical applications of Twitter like HootSuite and
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