Twitter Friday: We're Not for Sale but Our Accounts Are | White.net

Twitter Friday: We're Not for Sale but Our Accounts Are

By Tad Chef / November 27, 2009

Biz Stone

Biz Stone by Joi

In case you don’t read my Twitter Friday column regularly let me say it again: I’m always quite enthusiastic about the way Twitter embraces business users. There is no other social media site that makes me as comfortable while using it.

This week Twitter co-founder Biz Stone announced paid premium accounts for businesses.

Twitter will offer statistics and other tools enhancing the service for business and corporate users alike. It seems they will be available already in 2009. In contrast

Twitter still has no plans to sell the company as a whole.

In 2010 Twitter plans to earn money with with these business accounts plus by selling access to the “firehose” of real time data the Twitter community produces to search engines Google and Bing among others. Both ways are far less intrusive than other failed attempts by social media companies to monetize their sites.

Neither advertising nor compromised integrity by favoring news by paying clients have been very successful hitherto. Both Digg and StumbleUpon used such simplistic and invasive business models to no avail. Only Facebook could turn out profitable with its targeted advertising model but users have been abandoning the service in considerable numbers due to privacy concerns often directly linked to the ads.

  • Digg both unsuccessfully attempted to sell themselves to the highest bidder but failed. Digg simply couldn’t find a buyer.
  • StumbleUpon has been “sold back to the founders” by Ebay for an undisclosed amount. We can imagine why it wasn’t publicized: Most probably it was nothing to brag about for both sides.

Twitter has secured more capital than any other Internet startup in history so they don’t even have to think of monetization yet.

Twitter could revel in cash for years.

Still the pressure from the press is quite overwhelming lately so maybe they feel obliged to anyway. No I am very optimistic about Twitter being able to capitalize on its service without messing it up. It’s exactly due to the fact that they embraced the business community in the first place. Unlike on MySpace or Digg where teens or young adults reign supreme, often with embarrassing results, the backbone of Twitter are its business pundits.

It’s the Guy Kawasakis, Robert Scobles or Seth Godins who are the most active users of Twitter and who draw the real crowds of supporters and avid users.

In 2009 the celebrities joined in, but they were late. Also statistics prove that the often ridiculed social media consultants, marketers as well as bloggers and other web workers are the most active hard core of the Twitter user base. All these people are potential business users. They’re freelancers, entrepreneurs or influential spokespeople from companies of all sizes.

Also huge corporations know that they can’t ignore social media anymore and Twitter is the most important voice of social media right now. Facebook might be bigger but Twitter is already much more influential when it comes to impact on public opinion.

Twitter on the other hand wants to stay forever free for the average Joe. So they won’t hurt their user numbers obviously. So all in all I’m quite optimistic about Twitter being here to stay in 2010 and further establishing itself as the number one source of real time news as well as provider of easy to use social networking tools. Invest your time and money in Twitter now.

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