Evan Williams says Twitter's growth 'just getting started'

Even though Web start-up Twitter has gone from 1.6 million to 32.1 million users in a year, CEO Evan Williams says it's "just getting started."

"We think we can grow a long term sustainable valuable business here, and we're just getting started." Williams said in a CNBC interview today. "We're very mission focused."

If he and co-founders Biz Stone and Jack Dempsey wanted to sell the company, they would have already done so, he said.

"If we wanted to flip it we could have done that already and moved on," Williams said in the interview. "We're making a serious commitment here."

When asked if they would consider "coming together" with Facebook, he said, "We're open to different possibilities." Facebook executives are "good friends," Williams said, adding that Twitter and Facebook already work together "quite a bit."

The company turned down a $500 million offer for Twitter from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last year and Williams said yesterday he would turn down $1 billion for the company.

That said, he feels no rush to figure out how to make money. "People seem to be a little obsessed with that," he said, with Twitter finding a business plan. "We have time to figure out the business."

Regarding adding advertising to Twitter.com's home page, Williams said, "We're figuring that out now."

Williams said the key is, "how do we introduce advertising that doesn't piss off users?" Like Google (GOOG), he feels Twitter can also bring ads onto the site that are "complimentary to use" and don't annoy users.

In the meantime, he's getting "a lot of advice," and listens to some of it, from people who "see the potential," of Twitter.

"We have a pretty clear idea where we want to go," Williams said. "We don't pretend to know all the answers."

Whether he's being honest or not showing all of his cards, his answers show that Williams feels no rush to create revenue, despite outside pressure. Because the company is not public, he does not have to force the issue. As costs rise, Williams will have no problem finding investors to help pay for servers and employees.

If indeed Twitter doesn't sell itself, the company and those investors are surely looking ahead to a Twitter initial public offering.

Anthony Massucci is a senior writer for DailyFinance. You may follow him on Twitter at hianthony.
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