Twitter. Still Free. Still Seeking Business Model. Still Getting Slammed


As only Simon Dumenco can, Twitter gets yet another lashing from an unbeliever. While Dumenco may be a non-believer, not one to drink the cult's Kool-Aid, he a makes a few good points. Twitter was launched in 2006 and still has yet to institute a business model steering the company towards anything more than its current status as plaything for social media-obsessed digerati.

While Twitter has said and continues to say it has every intention of creating a business model which will support it beyond seed money, reading the revenue-generating notion "one idea is to charge companies th at want to use Twitter as an official channel to talk with their customers and monitor what they are saying," causes one to ROFLOL to the point of gut-busting pain.

Charge companies? Charges companies? For what? Any company with half a brain already has access to an endless supply of free "listening" tools that offer fairly deep insight into Twitter usage and what's being said about a particular brand.

Dumenco concludes not so inappropriately, writing, "I don't think every tweet or blurp or bloop or fart that emanates from a human can or should have ads sold against it or be otherwise monetized."

Of course, Dumenco needs to realize Twitter is far more than a listing of every "blurp or bloop or fart that emanates from a human." Far more.

And there's one simple solution to solving Twitter's monetization woes; keep advertisers out and charge people an annual fee to use the service. This will keep Twitter from becoming horribly tainted with commercialism and it will reduce the amount of unnecessary blurps. bloops and farts from people with nothing better to do than to tweet, "just got up. heading to the shower. big day ahead."

by Steve Hall    Oct-27-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Online, Opinion, Social   

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I never understood what's so hard about slapping up an AdSense block on the side and maybe a banner at the top of profiles/pages. It's definitely no business model, but 2+ years of clicks have to be worth something, right?

Posted by: Nate White on October 27, 2008 1:56 PM

Twitter has become an important part of how we communicate with customers, peers, partners, etc. It's really about how you use it. We've setup accounts for all of our products and tweet interesting stuff related to the industry, not just stuff we are doing. This is a strategy that has just been rolled out within the last couple weeks and we've seen excellent results.

That said, i would gladly pay a nominal fee to use the service. Look at the Flickr model. I dont know anybody who doesnt have a Pro account. Its cheap enough not to worry about the cost because the value is so high.


Posted by: dm on October 27, 2008 2:01 PM

Yeah. Id pay too. Maybe like $50 bucks a year. But no more than that.

Posted by: richard on October 27, 2008 2:16 PM

Hmmmm.... $50 a year so that I can know what my "followers" ate for lunch and corporate marketers can "communicate" with me better? No thanks.

Posted by: Duh Only on October 27, 2008 2:26 PM

Not sure if I would pay just to use Twitter as I suspect a paid model would result in lots of folks jumping ship. I'd look at paying for enhanced features, though.

Posted by: Richard V. Burckhardt on October 27, 2008 2:51 PM

I don't know about paying a fee to use Twitter. I think if people had to pay a fee to use it, Twitter would immediately cease to be what it currently is, and any Social Media usefulness would be lost.

Posted by: wheatley on October 27, 2008 2:55 PM

I'm unconvinced of Twitter's worthiness. I've been "using" it for a few months now and have yet to be engaged by it. Would certainly not pay for it. To me, the status updates on Facebook offer the same info - linked with far, far more.

Posted by: Pat on October 27, 2008 3:48 PM

You think Twitter is a free service? Think again.

Posted by: Guhmshoo on October 27, 2008 5:09 PM

I'd pay $3 for a year, max. But I do love Twitter.

Posted by: Jeff on October 27, 2008 5:58 PM

On second thought...

Were there a choice of opt-in ads I would gladly choose a "category" of ads to be displayed to me. I choose clothing and music ads over mortgage ads.

Posted by: Jeff on October 27, 2008 6:05 PM

After using it for months without much satisfaction, I joyfully deleted my account last night. Reading about the minutiae of strangers' lives becomes incredibly banal after awhile.

Posted by: Dan on October 27, 2008 7:15 PM

@Dan, a lot of it has to do with who you follow and what kind of people you attract to follow you as well. There are always some 'minutiae of strangers' lives' but there is also a hell of a lot of insight and great conversation. Again, its all about who is in your circle.

I would recommend giving it a second shot.


Posted by: dm on October 27, 2008 7:46 PM

I've tried, tried, and tried again to get into Twitter and beyond all the online diarrhea. No, I wouldn't pay a dime for Twitter - it has already cost me way too much in wasted time trying to figure out if there is any "there" there. There isn't.

Posted by: Bill Greenberg - Good Computer Guy on October 29, 2008 12:35 PM

Vanity, vanity, all is micro-vanity.

Posted by: Shanghai on October 30, 2008 2:30 AM