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Is Twitter 2.0 Finally Here?

Twitter's Apple TV app

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On Wednesday Twitter unveiled its new apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox One, allowing users to watch live streaming video, most notably the NFL’s Thursday Night Football.

An estimated 2.4 million users tuned into Thursday night’s Twitter debut of the Jets-Bills matchup, with venture capitalist (and Twitter stockholder) Fred Wilson declaring the experience “a revelation”.

Today, The Verge reports, the company is also changing the methodology for its dreaded character count, excluding @ usernames, media attachments, and quoted tweets from the 140 limit.

Along with Anthony Weiner’s recent disappearance from the 300+ million strong platform, it seems that Twitter – a service that has remained remarkably unchanged since its 2006 launch – is about to enter phase 2.0.

And the stakes are high. With Twitter stock trading at half its IPO price, cofounder Ev Williams recently hinted to Bloomberg TV that the company is weighing acquisition offers. Revenue is growing far slower than expected, and user growth is grinding to a standstill. (Twitter stock rose 4.4% in the wake of its successful Thursday Night Football launch.)

Despite numbers that disappoint Wall Street, the company remains a hot commodity in this acquisition-hungry market, with Microsoft, Google, and 21st Century Fox all touted as possible buyers. Its current market price stands somewhere north of $12 billion.

Even The New York Times’ famously fussy literary critic Michiko Kakutani recently praised Twitter’s “splendid dishevelment: a mad, noisy mix of the momentous and the ordinary, the serious, silly and surprising.”

For the present, at least, it would appear that news of Twitter’s death has been greatly exaggerated.

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