* Returning Dorsey wants Twitter to be more mainstream
* Will work with both Twitter and start-up Square
By Jennifer Saba
NEW YORK, March 29 Twitter co-founder Jack
Dorsey, who returned this week to the company after a two-year
absence, wants to make the microblogging site more approachable
to the masses, he said on Tuesday.
"We have a lot of mainstream awareness but mainstream
relevancy is still a challenge," Dorsey said during an event in
New York hosted by the Columbia Journalism School.
Dorsey, who will oversee product development while serving
as Twitter's executive chairman, acknowledged that the service
is "something that people can't immediately get their head
Known for short messages limited to 140 characters called
tweets, Twitter has emerged as one of the most popular social
media companies. It counts among its users celebrities such as
Ashton Kutcher, Conan O'Brien and Charlie Sheen.
Still, relatively few of Twitter's more than 200 million
registered users are active on the site. Research firm
eMarketer cited data showing that less than 25 percent of
Twitter users generate about 90 percent of tweets.
Dorsey said he wants to concentrate on users "that don't
really understand what Twitter is and see Twitter mainly as a
"We need to refocus on the value and that is my goal in the
next few months," he said.
Dorsey started Twitter in 2006 along with Evan Williams and
Biz Stone. He served as its first chief executive until
Williams replaced him in 2008. [ID:nN28213276]
He returns as Twitter faces questions about competition
from rivals such as Facebook, and its business model that
includes advertiser-sponsored tweets. Even so, Twitter's
perceived value among investors has grown by leaps and bounds.
In December, Twitter was valued at $3.7 billion in a $200
million funding round led by venture capital firm Kleiner
Perkins Caufield & Byers. An auction of Twitter shares on the
secondary market earlier this month suggested investors were
valuing the company at $7.7 billion.
Even with his role at Twitter, Dorsey will remain chief
executive of mobile payment start-up Square, which he founded
during his time away from Twitter's day-to-day operations.
He said he could handle wearing two hats at once.
"I structure my time in a very very disciplined way," he
said. "It's not a large context shift to go back and forth
between both companies."
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Richard Chang)