Twitter still to define its long-term purpose says chief executive

Chief executive says users determine site's direction themselves

Twitter is still trying to define its purpose in the long term, chief executive Dick Costolo said on Friday.

In his first UK interview since becoming chief executive last month, Costolo told the Telegraph that his other areas of focus are ensuring that the microblogging service can successfully scale globally from a technological point of view and prioritising the key countries to expand within.

He confirmed that the UK and Japan, where the social networking site already has a presence through a joint venture operation, are two priority locations for expansion.

The site's co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey added that it was difficult to try and define Twitter's function and purpose, as so many of its uses had been defined by its users over the past four years.

"Users came up with so many parts of the service, such as the hashtag [which allows people to link to a subject or an event] as so many people use it in so many different ways.

"Twitter needs to continue being a good listener and recognise that the service has been redefined by lots of people, tweet by tweet, but also come up with its own priorities," he said.