Ideas for Twitter's Revenue Model – pt. 1
The survey I ran last week is now closed and here is a summary of the ideas and comments collected. Some are fairly traditional and some are rather novel. Take a look, see what’s interesting and leave a comment on which ones you like or dislike.
NOTE: My comments for each of the ideas are not criticisms of those ideas, but simply additional commentary and context.
Advertising Revenue Model – Twitter should figure out a model where brand owners pay Twitter to get in front of all those eyeballs. Seems to be a very prevalent Ad driven model in todays economy.
…Twitter recently hired a product manager to oversee the development of commercial accounts. The accounts would offer users more features in exchange for a fee, but Mr. Stone says Twitter hasn’t set a launch date for them.
Revenue Share with Carriers: Tie up with operators worldwide and crack a revenue share deal on the SMSs sent to Twitter. Most people who’re using Twitter from mobile would find this capability useful and since there would be just the regular charge there’s no mindset barrier to break.
[Saeed] – This is an interesting suggestion though I wonder what would convince carriers to give up revenue to Twitter that they can keep for themselves right now. Twitter is driving SMS traffic but has no control over the carrier the user has.
Other SMS related services charge those who create the SMS traffic (e.g. mobile marketing companies). Perhaps the idea could be reversed, where carriers provide specific Twitter packages and branded clients and then split the revenue back with Twitter.
Per Tweet Fees: Charge per tweet, leave following and view tweets free, or just charge per tweet from cell phones. 5 cents a tweet. Or if yearly it depends, If I was using it for promoting my business $250 a year, personally no more than $20 a year.
[Saeed] – Charge per tweet would be hard to justify given tweeting is free right now. On the SMS side there might be a possibility for some fees or packages similar to what the carriers provides for SMS.
[Saeed] – These services are starting to emerge. TwitterCounter, Twitter Analyzer, TweetStats etc. are starting to provide this functionality as are firms that provide analytics (Omniture), but this is certainly an area where more can be done.
Perhaps users might pay 3rd parties for this, but it’s also something that Twitter could support as they are the platform owner. In the end, Twitter will have to play nice with the more established 3rd parties who provide more than simply Twitter statistics, such as reputation management and social media monitoring companies. Twitter is certainly the center of attention right now, but that won’t last forever.
Ask the Expert on Twitter: The ability to ask questions and receive answers from an individual or group within an industry who are designated as experts on Twitter. Would pay anywhere from $1-$10 based on the quality of the answers received. Would be useful to anyone who is searching for specific information that is not readily available via a Web search.
[Saeed] – This is an interesting suggestion. I guess both the question and the answer have be extremely short 🙂 or else the conversation has to leave Twitter and go elsewhere. Yahoo! Answers currently addresses this need for free, as does the Q&A on LinkedIn, as do many other services. Google Answers has been shut down but they were one of the pioneers who tried to enable a “pay-per-answer” service.
I’ll post other ideas submitted in the survey in my next post. In the mean time, what do you think of these suggestions?