Let the Good Times – and Money – Flow for Twitter

Four years and about 60 million users later, Twitter is finally ready to unveil its business model – something that will take a project gone wild and transform it into a business.

According to the New York Times, Twitter will unveil an advertising platform today, Promoted Tweets, that will see ads appear when a search in conducted. The initial advertisers include Virgin America, Starbucks and Best Buy. In the future, Twitter plans to show promoted tweets that are contextual and relevant within live streams based.

A few questions:

1. What took so long? Advertising is a no-brainer for Twitter, and something few Twitter users will complain about. After all, we’re getting a free service so what’s to complain about if a few ads appear here and there.

2. What’s next after advertising? There has been a lot of speculation about premium accounts for businesses, and analytics services. Are those services still in the cards?

3. What role do acquisitions play now that Twitter has embraced advertising? Does this mean that popular services such as TwitPic and Tweetdeck are now more attractive targets given they could be attractive for advertisers.

This is a huge day for Twitter because it can finally stop talking about plans to launch a business plan, and now starting focusing on making money, which is something you should be doing when you’ve raised $150-million in venture capital.

Finally, here’s an excerpt from Twitter’s Biz Stone in explaining the slow march to a business model:

“Stubborn insistence on a slow and thoughtful approach to monetization—one which puts users first, amplifies existing value, and generates profit has frustrated some Twitter watchers. Believe me, when your name is Biz and you’re a co-founder of Twitter, it also means putting yourself at the mercy of folks like Stephen Colbert who hit home runs with lines like, “So, I assume that ‘Biz’ in ‘Biz Stone’ does not stand for ‘Business Model’.”

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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I think it's finally time that Twitter grew up and made some changes to adapt to their huge growth. It seems that for much of their life, Twitter has been playing catch-up, trying to keep their heads above water as the site grew in leaps and bounds. During this time they made very few actual enhancements, beyond stability, and left the features and business aspect up to the 3rd party developers. Now that they are acquiring strategic companies, rolling out their ad platform, and potentially changing their feed timeline it feels they are being more proactive about their future growth.

    But clearly the biggest news here is their advertising scheme. They really need it to work in order to justify their outrageous valuations. I've put together a rundown of the ad program and whether the experts think it will work: http://thebusride.com/ride/twitter-ad-scheme-will

  2. Tweeter
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone copy edit this post?

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