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’.”