Updated: Friday, 26 Mar 2010, 12:09 PM CDT
Published : Monday, 15 Mar 2010, 1:27 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Nearly everywhere you look around the Austin Convention Center during South By Southwest, you'll see eyes glued to a smart phone or a computer screen.
Many of those people probably are staring at the popular microblogging service called Twitter.
Twitter debuted at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival only three years ago, and the company's co-founder Evan Williams spoke Monday to a packed house at the Austin Convention Center.
Williams debuted Twitter's new @anywhere service, which boasts better user integration with Twitter on 13 various Web sites like The New York Times and Yahoo.
Williams said it allows people to interact with Twitter more away from the main Twitter page.
A recent study just released by Web security firm Barracuda said only 27 percent of Twitter's 70 million users are active on the site.
That means 73 percent of those who have signed up for Twitter have only sent messages 10 times on the service.
Many people said the service has gone from a social platform to a news feed, something Williams confirmed Monday.
"It's often called a social network," Williams said. "But we think of it differently as an information network that helps people discover what's going on in the world that they care about."
But many people went back into the world leaving the presentation not caring much for what Twitter's CEO had to say. Twitter was buzzing with disappointment Monday after the talk.
"I think what we missed is how are you going to make money, how are you going to monetize it?" said Driventide CEO Jai Decker after listening to Williams' talk. Driventide is a digital marketing company.
Twitter is funded by venture capitalists. It has made money from partnerships with Google and other search engines, but just how it can remain a financially sustainable service, especially with increasing competition from sites like FourSquare and Gowalla is still left for many people to speculate.
"I'm pretty sure they already know how they're going to," said Twitter user Pete Flynn. "But I think they're waiting for things to fall in place for them to execute them."
"It has turned into less witty comments and less social interaction, which I think it's OK," said Lauren Shannon, an active Twitter user and attendee of the SXSW Interactive Festival. "I think Facebook has taken the place of more social interaction."