The 401st Blow :: Thoughts On Media

How Twitter Can Make Money (today)

Posted in Software by Noah Harlan on April 18, 2009

I admit it. I’ve bought in and I am completely into twitter. I still check facebook once a day or so but I pipe my tweets into my status updates. That being said, I could care less about @aplusk and @cnnbrk‘s battle to a million (after all, didn’t Ashton used to get several million viewers a day?)

There has been a lot of postulating about how twitter can make money and I have one answer. Twitter should (immediately) either acquire or start their own versions of bit.ly (url shortening), twitpic (pictures), and 12 second tv (short vids). If they offered these three services as twitter-authorized services a large percentage of users would likely use them (look at what happens to new users and the suggested users twitter offers).  Twitter could then offer an opt-in for a single, smart served, text ad (think google ad-style) on each of those services.  The volume of clicks would be staggering and the potential revenue on a CPM model would be not insignificant.

To make the deal sweeter and encourage users to use the official twitter services, twitter would offer the user a partnership with them. If you opt-in to have the ad served on your links then you share in the revenue from clicks to your twitpics, 12-second vids and links.  They would ad a paypal signup option in your profile and the money would just be deposited into your account.  All your links, pics & vids would be trackable in your profile and clicks would be 100% transparent.

As twitter continues to build it’s audience and the peer-search field widens, this would give twitter a piece of the google-pie without having to partner with google.

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