Saturday, January 17, 2009

Twitter - wanna a few bucks


The web is full of articles based on how Twitter can make some monies.
Of course I don’t intent to give Twitter managers a lesson. They proved
it all already. Success is no luck.

Kevin Thau – Twitter new biz dev guy must be brainstorming day and night looking on how to generate revenue for our favorite social media network.

My analysis is mostly based on observation. Don’t blame me if some of
the figures are distorted. If you have them please come forward and
I’ll rectify.

They are about 100 Twitter clients, 200 Twitter services and certainly
a thousand of 3rd party apps or web apps posting to Twitter.

I cannot imagine one is launching a Twitter service for philanthropic
inspiration only. It’s all about the money. Money around a community of
users – or potentiality of revenues to be generated around this

Twitter founders and managers must be frustrated to see everyone else
around raising money based on sending feeds or posts to their social
media network.

Who provides the vital information? Twitter!!

Latest example of TweetDeck raising half a million dollar delivering messages to a FREE online service left me to think.

How Twitter can monetize their business and still maintain a free service for end-user?

Ok – I admit I have been a bit busy this week so it took me a few minutes to figure it out…but here are my thoughts.

Twitter is a carrier i.e. identical to any broadcast media. We were all
thinking broadcast media = TV…here is the mistake. I’m thinking
Broadcast media as THE network. Twitter IS the network. TVs are the
clients - each one around a different service.

If you look at it this way you suppress direct revenue from advertising
- which is certainly not very sexy today -AND you may charge for
SERVICE per usage. Like a hosting company – basically Twitter hosts our
Tweets and make them available to Clients.

So now imagine a business model based on:

- Bandwidth aka Twitter API Usage 80req/hour or 100req/hour or 200req/hour

- Number or Tweets posted

Twitter should SELL API usage to all of those who want to access their
network. This is THE immediate revenue-generating model. Price should
be based on consumption, queries, awareness, and even revenue sharing
in some cases.

Give each APP the full XMPP feed from Twitter, everyone now has the exact same access.

Twitterrific is selling its application on Apple Store, generating revenue based on usage of a free API. It doesn’t sound right.

First this is taking traffic away from Twitter mobile web app [meaning no possible revenue from advertising if ever]

2nd it requires more constraint on API and therefore induce a cost for Twitter.

In this case Twitter would be much more a service provider with revenue generated by thousand of companies.

Leave others monetize their value added service. If one thinks
Twitterrific, Twhirl or TweetDeck bring a different user experience it
might justify the cost. Even help those application developers to sell
their apps.

Of course it will certainly lower number of Twitter apps available. But
we know some are ridiculously useless or repetitive and will not
survive. In any case API could remain FREE for usage <50req/hr.

There is one downside in all that – which I believe could become a great benefit…

What if the community of developers around Twitter decides to give up on Twitter?

Well I still think Twitter is strong thanks to its 2.7 million users
and NOTHING else. People will use more services directly offered by
Twitter: Web, mobile portal and text message…and maybe even their own
Twitter desktop application if they really wanted to!!

So here it is. It certainly needs to be tuned and brainstormed but general idea is set above.

@Twitter @EV What do you think? Deal or no deal?

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