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Twitter investing "heavily" in TV, says CEO

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has emphasised the social network’s commitment to partnering with television companies as it continues to broaden its video content.

With major televisual events lighting up discussion on Twitter more than ever before, and programme makers increasingly keen to engage with viewers through hashtags and user accounts, the site’s execs are determined to capitalise on a growing opportunity.

“Twitter is the social soundtrack for TV,” Costolo said on stage at the D: All Things Digital conference in California yesterday, according to Bloomberg.

“We’ve decided to invest heavily in that,” said Costolo. “There’s a bunch of ways we can be complementary to broadcasters.”

Twitter’s taste for TV investment has already been apparent this year, with acquisitions including the purchase of Bluefin Labs, a social television analytics firm that provides data to brand advertisers, agencies, and TV networks. The social network said the link-up would help other companies realise “the combined value of Twitter and TV,” and spoke of its determination to work with “partners in the television industry to make the experience of Twitter and television even better.”

Elsewhere in Costolo’s conference appearance, the CEO scotched suggestions he was actively seeking an IPO for the company, saying, “I’m in the middle of trying to run this business and build this business.” Planning an IPO was “not the way I spend my time thinking about the company,” he added.

Twitter was valued at almost $10 billion (£6.6 billion) by one of its investors this month, up around 10 per cent from a previous estimate, reports Bloomberg.

From a security perspective, the site has been attracting some less positive headlines of late, thanks to hacks on high profile accounts belonging to the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times, and more.

Twitter took action last week to deal with the spate of attacks by implementing a two-factor authentication log-in system for the first time. Rolling out to user accounts now is an option to "Require a verification code when I sign in," which enables a verification code to be sent to the user via SMS when they are entering their account from a new device.