Williams emphasized that he doesn’t care if Instagram has now more users than Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) because his company has greater impact to the world, and it is generating more money.
At the end of last week, Bruce Greenwald, the founding director of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School, sat down for a Fireside Chat with Li Lu, the founder and chairman of Himalaya Capital as part of the 13th Columbia China Business Conference. The chat spanned many different topics, Read More
Instagram recently reported that it reached a major milestone—more than 300 million monthly active uses (MAUs) compared with the 284 million (MAUs) of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) owns Instagram.
Twitter vs. Instagram is like comparing apples to oranges
In an interview with Fortune, Williams said, If you think about the impact Twitter has on the world versus Instagram, it’s pretty significant. It’s at least apples to oranges. Twitter is what we wanted it to be. It’s this real-time information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter.”
Williams added that important stories breaks on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and world leaders are using the microblogging site. “I frankly don’t give a shit if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pictures,” he said.
When it was pointed out that the Wall Street cares about the financial performance of the company, Williams emphasized that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is doing well when it comes to monetization. He said, “Twitter makes a hell of a lot more money than Instagram, if that’s what Wall Street cares about.”
Williams questioned the definition of monthly actives user
During the interview, Williams questioned the definition of monthly active user, and emphasized the term should have a better definition to reflect the actual performance of technology companies.
According to Williams, “The crazy thing: Facebook has done an amazing job of establishing that as the metric for Wall Street.” He emphasized nobody talks about the definition of monthly active user, and he thinks the term is so “abstract to be meaningless.”
During a recent interview with CNBC, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom pointed out that it is hard to compare Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Instagram. He said, “Twitter has a more mature business. They’re public. We’ve just started monetizing. We have a lot to prove before we’re, you know, worth many billions of dollars.”
When asked about the current valuation of Instagram during a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal, Systrom said it is hard to figure out its worth independently. He explained that Instagram achieved its growth and success due to “tight-knit relationship with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The social network giant acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.