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The idea that will make Twitter more profitable than Google

Twitter is a PR / Word-Of-Mouth Advertising type of company, when it comes to how they could make money.

One thing that they must have been thinking about for a long time is this very simple concept: sell paid tweets on Twitter. This might be the holy grail for Twitter. How would this work? Each paid tweet would show up with a little logo, so that the user knows it's paid content. Paid tweets would be created by advertisers on their Twitter or Feed Burner account, and would then be integrated into Twitter lists belonging to Twitter affiliates participating in this program. Advertisers would choose where they want to show up - for instance SAS could decide to advertise on our AnalyticBridge Twitter list.

Feel free to contact me about this business model - I know I can sell Twitter (or other) feeds to my advertising clients, and I don't even need Twitter.com to do that. There is some great potential in this business model.

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Comment by Theodore Omtzigt on November 28, 2009 at 7:20am
Here is the New York Times article describing the social networking advertising landscape.

I am starting to fall out of the demographic target of advertisers but for me any advertising that is outside of the specific information content you are working with is annoying clutter. The concept that a 'sponsorship' of a product that comes through a trusted channel will be accepted, in my mind is only going to work for a little while, when it is still 'different'. On the moment you institutionalize that ad form, we will all develop automatic filters to get rid of it. As human beings we are inundated with advertising, and we quickly learn what to filter out.

Given the fact that media content has moved from education to entertainment, product placement or story telling like Superbowl style ads, are in my mind the only vehicles that can push brands in an entertainment heavy media world. When I am entertained I am not as annoyed when I have to sit through advertising.

The other side, topic tailored advertising, is IMHO perfect for the social web, although too many websites become visually disorienting with flashing blinking squares. But when I am reading about some topic of interest, to have the option to select commercial information is valuable to me, since it typically adds to the education on that topic. In the context of twitter, I don't feel this would work, since the UI is too constrained. I am using Twitter as a dispatch stream to information, not as an information framework itself.
Comment by Steve Burris on November 27, 2009 at 10:00pm
You will no doubt find the launch of likes.com interesting - i read about it a few minutes after reading this one of yours and Likes launches Dec. 8 they say.

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