Twitter is not just a social networking company, it is also a data collecting platform.
Ali Rowghani, the former chief operating officer of Twitter, said that in the beginning, data was "the original revenue stream" for Twitter. He explained to CNBC's "Squawk Alley" that Twitter first did business with big search engines.
Even though the data revenue for Twitter is now second to its advertising revenue, there remains a lot to be done with the social media's data, according to Rowghani.
The former COO said, "I haven't given up hope that Twitter can continue to grow. I think it is an extraordinary asset. Look at their impact in the election cycle. ... I think they have a lot of work to do."
Rowghani worked for Twitter for four years before resigning in June 2014. He is now a partner at Y Combinator, a start-up incubator.