Summary: In this article, I have suggested some strategies that Twitter could adopt to monetize the project. If you are wondering what Twitter is, you should consider reading the Twitter Quick Start Guide.
Have you ever wondered how Twitter makes money? This is what made me think so: I have been tweeting from Tweet Deck for quite a while and I seldom use the Web interface. Thanks to the good API support and tons of desktop clients, I don’t even give Twitter a page view, which means I am a total invisible Twitter user, and I am sure there are millions like me.
The answer to the first question is clearly stated on the About Page, and it says, we spend more money than we make. But they say, its not that they don’t have opportunities to monetize, instead they wish to focus on the product as such for now.
I am sure that soon Twitter will think of monetization, so I thought of adding my own suggestions in here.
Twitter Monetization Strategies
Targeted Tweet Ads
Advertising on Twitter doesn’t sound great, but it could really work, if it’s well executed. Twitter can develop a system which scans the tweets of its users. The system will identify keywords from the tweet and send that specific tweepl an ad tweet. Only the recipient will be able to see the tweet.
Maybe it should limit this ad tweet to one for every 100 updates, or once every hour or something similar so that people are not annoyed or distracted. If people get annoyed, they will leave and if twitter doesn’t have its people, it’s going to stink.
Don’t think that this is going to be a question on your privacy. For instance, Google scans your emails for spam and relevant keywords. That’s how you see the ads on the right sidebar of every gmail email.
Example: I update with, “I am looking for a Portable Hard Disc @ eBay” and I get an Ad Tweet, “Get cheap yet durable Hard Discs @ Some Sample Sales, link” don’t you think I will go ahead and follow the Ad Tweet?
This is a Google Adsense inspired idea. Twitter can think of something similar to the Google Adsense program where tweepl can register for a publisher account. The users will be the ones who decide when to send an ad tweet and that saves Twitter from the problem of scanning the updates for relevant keywords. They will understand that too many ad-tweets will dramatically reduce the number of followers, so the users will put their own limits.
On to that, there should be a maximum number of Ad Tweets possible per day, so spammers can stay @ home!
For now most Tweepl I have met with on Twitter have a blog so it would be easy to implement this idea.
Power Tweeter Accounts
Twitter has an upper limit on the number of API requests per account per hour and the maximum number of tweets per hour (I guess its 400 updates per hour now). Twitter addicts (I am starting to be one) often bust their hourly rations very easily and are forced to watch others tweeting without being able to say anything
Twitter can think of a Power Tweeter Account where people pay for the removal of such limits. They can also make Power Tweeter Accounts ad free. Since Twitter is already addictive, I guess people will pay to be able to tweet, non-stop!
Companies that Tweet, Inc.
Do we have companies on Twitter? Yes, Google, Dell, Dreamhost, and lots of other firms are on twitter. Many of them use their Twitter accounts to tell the world about inside news and updates and often promote their latest products. So I hope they are generating some sales out of this.
Twitter definitely needs to be paid a share of the profits they make. Instead or nagging them for share of profits, Twitter can charge large Organizations and companies to be able to promote their products, and should provide them with a special account.
For that account, Twitter should provide additional services like click tracking, followers analysis (like where do they come from, what do they tweet about often, relevant keywords), and improved API integration. Wouldn’t Dell like to know where their followers come from? That would give them enough data to decide which product to promote and what not to. I would like to have one such account myself!
You get suggested for $10,000 a month!
When you sign-up for a Twitter account, you are taken to a Suggested users page. Most users will choose to follow all of them, because at the point of signing up they don’t know what’s in store. Having a huge number of followers is something big and it has a considerable impact on your online reputation.
Quick Online Tips have more details on this monetization strategy. They explain with reasons, why selling the suggested users is a money minting idea!
Over to you…
Do you have any more ideas? Then share them. Maybe that’s the idea that’s going it click. You might be helping a bunch of brilliant people make a good lot of money!
Let’s start tweeting, Follow me on Twitter!