This morning during an interview on Today, Matt Lauer asked Twitter CEO Dick Costolo who he'd most like to see join the popular platform. Rather than picking a world leader or some other renowned figure, the executive kept things light. "I would say it's a collection of female comedians," he said. "It's Melissa McCarthy, it's Tina Fey, it's Amy Poehler. I'll make that my goal." It may sound like a random request, but long before he became Twitter's chief executive, Costolo himself dabbled in Chicago's improv comedy scene. He even took classes at Second City; Fey and Poehler both passed through the famous improv troupe before hitting it big.
Fey has proven particularly resistant to the world of Twitter. "I think you should have to get a license to use Twitter," she once joked when asked about the subject, insisting that most tweets are so boring that users should "shut up." Fey's longtime friend Amy Poehler doesn't operate a personal account, though her "Amy Poehler's Smart Girls" network maintains an active Twitter presence.
The "white whale" question concluded a string of other softball inquiries, though Costolo managed to provide some insight on his now-public company's approach to becoming more accessible. "For many people when they come to Twitter, the language is opaque to them," he said. "So what we need to do is push the scaffolding, the technology, and the language of Twitter to the background and bring the content forward." That includes "the media, the photos, the videos, the content that people are talking about," said Costolo. Twitter handles over 500 million tweets per day and lays claim to 232 million active users, but the company still has to make inroads with the mainstream public if it ever hopes to approach Facebook's enormous size.
"Authenticity is absolutely the key to a great tweet."
Costolo also provided one key tip on how to best use Twitter: be truthful. "In this day and age, with the ubiquity of communication we now have, people can sense inauthenticity very, very quickly." Beyond that, the CEO says it's all about finding a unique voice. "It's the 140 character constraint itself that makes the creativity of operating in that constraint beautiful."