Everybody has heard of twitter. A lot of people are on Twitter. Like it or not, too many talk about twitter. So when a company has as much fame as twitter, they really couldn’t ask for anything else. Could they? Well ofcourse they could. Profits!
Ever since this buzz has surrounded the microblogging site, pundits have always posed one question. How will the service make money? Its business model or the lack thereof has raised eyebrows with people going as far as casting doubts over its ‘long term viability’. In 2009, Twitter showed that it is a company that took its revenue seriously with a slew of measures aimed at monetizing its service. From introducing Premium accounts to $25 million search deals with leading search engines, the company was finally profitable (stated by BusinessWeek)
And now in 2010, it is once again sending out strong signals about its desire to make profits. Just take a look at their Jobs page. They are advertising 28 positions as of 12th January and some of these dedicated to ‘monetization’. It is looking for a
Front-end Engineer, 2 Software Engineers with M word in the title. But the one that caught my eye was ‘monetization product marketing manager’. Expect a bunch of new monetization products from their stable which will be marketed aggressively.
Celebrities cash in too!
Even though twitter is now looking to make money for itself, it has probably already been ‘monetized’ by celebrities. An post on eonline claims to reveal ‘the truth about celebrity tweets’. It names celebrities like Nicole Richie, Kim Kardashian, Whitney Port, Audrina Patridge and says that they earn upto $10,000 per tweet in which they promote some product.
Ad.ly, an in-stream advertising platform that matches top-tier brands with top-tier Twitter publishers, has a List of celebrities(called publishers) who have signed up!
It was heartening to see the words ‘for charity’ next to some of the publishers.
Regulators in the United States aren’t asleep though, an FTC regulation – concerning paid reviews on blogosphere, states that “Celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.” Basically it is relying on them to be ‘honest’ about their tweets.
This really could prove to be an effective way of marketing, who wouldn’t want to go to a fast food joint that a certain celebrity claims to be his/her favourite. Even more, just think what a celebrity tweet could do for the fortunes of a relatively unknown place.