The expansion marks the next stage for the six-year-old tech startup’s development, with Twitter seeking to turn its 140m users into revenue.
Asked about the next stage of development for the company, founder Jack Dorsey left the door open for a flotation, or potentially a sale to a technology giant such as Google.
“I’m extremely humbled by how quick and broadly Twitter has taken off an how we’ve done building something independent and timeless – this is a company that will last,” he said, speaking at a press conference at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity on Thursday morning.
“The company has always put itself in a position to choose when it is ready [to make strategic decisions such as an IPO or sale]. We do things when we are ready. We have a good understanding about pacing and have the discipline to make the [right] choices ourselves.”
Twitter, which currently offers its advertising products in just a handful of countries, intends to roll out them out to 50 territories by the end of the year with certain markets the top of the list.
Latin America, particularly Brazil, and west European countries such as Spain and Germany will be the first to get Twitter’s three advertising products – promoted tweets, promoted trends and promoted accounts.
“There is a ton of demand but we don’t have dates as yet,” said the Twitter chief executive, Dick Costolo, who refused to comment on the company’s financial position or targets. “That is one of the great things of being private, I don’t have to discuss these things,” he said.
Twitter provided some interesting insights about its usage, including that 60% of users access via mobile – 80% in the UK – and that there was no sign of a slowdown in growth rates, a problem that is starting to weigh on the other big social media company, Facebook.
“Growth is still broad-based and global,” said Costolo. “We are still growing quite fast month on month in the UK, Mexico, Spain, Italy, France … Saudi Arabia is our fastest-growing market percentage-wise month on month.”
The company said it is not struggling with the shift to portable devices, which Facebook is finding a problem.
“We were born mobile,” said the Twitter director of revenue, Adam Bain. “Tweets are like water, they work whatever you put them through.”
Costolo added that the company launched ads on mobile a few months ago and that it is “growing delightfully well”. “We have had days when mobile revenue has exceeded non-mobile revenue,” he added.
When asked about Twitter’s corporate responsibility to monitor and censor tweets – abusive tweets have become an issue for the service in the UK recently – Costolo said that the community of users can police itself effectively.
“We like to say we are the free speech wing of the free speech party,” he added. “The beauty of Twitter is that it is public, unless you have a protected account, when you tweet it is broadcast and everyone can see it. We operate on the assumption there are more good people than bad.”
Costolo said that often it is a case that good Twitter users will “rain down” on bad users and that hate speech in particular is not tolerated.
He added that there are increasing examples of bad users apologising, deleting offensive comments or even closing their accounts after a backlash.
“We do have a per country takedown facility as well,” he said. “In cases where we need to abide by a local law we can make a tweet not visible in that country but available to others.”
Speaking to MediaGuardian after the press conference Dorsey, who is following in the footsteps of Mark Zuckerberg in receiving the media person of the year award at the Cannes advertising event, said that the European startup scene was hampered by fear of failure.
“Europe is very different from Silicon Valley,” he added. “There it is a whirlpool of technology conversations. I do wish some of that energy and attitude would spread. For some European startups there is a barrier to entry, there is not a large enough ambition to take risks and a fear of making mistakes in public.”
It is Twitter’s second year at the Cannes festival – the company not would reveal how many executives it has brought over but said that it has “five times” its 2011 team. Twitter said that in 2011 it struck most of its strategic advertising deals for the year while in Cannes.