Twitter is a staple in my life. I have a few different accounts and I use Twitter on a personal level EVERYDAY. As a communication tool, Twitter is on the top of my list. No other service allows me to get real feedback on questions or ideas in almost realtime. I can throw out a quick poll, get technology advice, receive links to information for my blog and a myriad of other things that I feel only Twitter can do for me.
The issue Twitter has been faced with is even with their explosive growth, they have yet to find a way to make the company profitable. Turning Twitter into a subscription for even corporate users seems to be a bust. With Dell Outlet making $1 Million with it’s Twitter account, charging them for an account seems to be a NO-GO.
Biz Stone the Twitter Co-Founder responded to the numerous news articles discussing Twitters plan to charge for service saying “Whatever we come up with, Twitter will remain free to use by everyone-individuals, companies, celebrities,” in a recent blog post. So the question still remains, how will Twitter make money?
Here are some ideas I have about making Twitter profitable that allows the micro blogging tool to remain free but opens doors for some money with advanced features.
Build off Twitters API
Twitter’s API is open for any developers to make useful Twitter applications. I think this is the money maker for Twitter. I use a handful of Twitter apps to keep track of my accounts, friends and information from the Twitterverse. The issue I have with these are that there are so many of these Twitter apps coming online that I have a hard time trusting all of them. I don’t want to give my credentials to all of these places. Even though the additional service they offer through Twitter seems nice, I will not give some 3rd party site my username and password without doing a lot of digging to make sure the site is legit.
If Twitter started managing more of these services and built an advanced interface where I can do things that Twollo, TweetLater and Monitter allow me to do within the safety of Twitters services, I would pay for that.
Charge application builders a fee for validation.
Twitter could only manage so many additional services like this. Make it more comfortable for us users to play with these 3rd party apps that tie into the Twitter API by verifying their service. Twitter can work with these ‘partners’ by making sure the API is being used legitimately and by a reputable source, then get a “Twitter Approval” stamp on the 3rd party app and make people more comfortable. Being Twitter approved can go a long way and I think developers would pay for this recognition and evaluation by Twitter.
Start Twitter Camps.
They may already do this on some level but I cant seem to find any. If Twitter held camps where they would bring developers in and teach them how best to tie into the service, understand more about the Twitter API and allow developers to learn better and more effective ways to use the Twitter API, I think that could bring in some revenue also. I’m not a an uber geek but I would love to know how to make my own Twitter applications and I think that Twitter would be the best teacher.
Make Corporate Twitter Pages:
When the 2008 elections were running, Twitter had a special election.twitter.com page where you could see a scrolling feed of updates by people discussing the race for the White House. If Twitter set up vertical pages for specific topics that a person couls access then I would think they could market those to companies.
These are a few things I think that Twitter could capitalize on.