Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This post was going to be about a third party app that pays you to allow it to post ads in your stream. That app seems to be getting some negative feedback from followers of users already.

Lets explore how Twitter might do ads and make money.
  • All active users choose categories. The number a user would have to choose from is unknown.
  • Lets say 3 categories of 20
  • Twitter would sell ads on these user 'interests'
Possible choices are below. These are some I might choose if available ;)
  • Running
  • Golf
  • Fishing
The advertisers that want to reach a receptive audience [me] would buy ads from Twitter to get in the stream of users who are interested in these categories.

Nike, New Balance or might buy ads to put tweets in your stream. Twitter would place these ads, mini billboards if you will, in the stream you follow. I am interested in running and if these firms have relevant messages I am willing to hear them out. There would be two links.
  • One would take you to the information or offer
The other would
  • Let your stream keep moving
Until you make a choice your stream stops flowing.
This way Twitter can serve highly relevant ads to users of the service. It should be relatively easy for the user to do this simple task [make a choice and click on a link or maybe an icon [Sort of like star and trashcan now].

Twitter may offer a way to opt out
as well by allowing a user to pay a monthly fee to not see these ad tweets. For example the stream for @guykawasaki must move at a very high velocity since he is following 28,918 streams at the moment [9:36PM EST 11/19/08]. A user like Guy might just pay the fee to opt out. If one choose not to pay a fee, maybe there would be a set number of ads you would see a day... maybe 1-6 per hour as a maximum if your stream moves fast.

Twitter can do this. How users react will be interesting. People hate change. A recent survey [non scientific] found that many users would pay a monthly fee to use Twitter. Twitter can monetize their platform with subscription fees and/or ads. Perhaps there would even be a blended model offered as well. Smaller fee but still getting some ads from time to time.

How would you feel if Twitter created such a system? What say you?

PS: [yes I realize some people follow 0 streams. For those folks maybe they can only post so many times before they get one of the tweet ads]


gamalam said...

If there were a one-time small fee to eliminate ads, I'd pay it quickly.
I don't believe that Twitter is really built in a way that would sustain any long-term money stream though. I think the folks behind Twitter will have to figure out how to keep their users engaged, especially when ads start appearing all over the place.

Bella Casa said...

I would pay to use twitter, though I'd rather everyone else ;) I could stand some ads, they are on facebook and MySpace and they don't seem to interfere with my usage there. I am not a fan of the new magpie though.