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This is how Twitter will monetize

This started out as a comment on fellow Twitter connoisseur Steve Poland’s Advertising for Real Time Search (aka Twitter) post that when finally completed was worthy of a blog post.

The problem with “another Adwords” as Steve mentions is that Adwords is built on matching statics. Google’s entire search system is based on matching which heavily favors the old (longevity = credibility) statics.

A static matching system like Google won’t work well for Twitter as it’s content’s (or index) is not static, nor does it’s value to advertisers lay in history (at least not yet). It’s value lies in the here and now.

So in actuality the platform has to function in the exact opposite of how Adwords was constructed.

Ads next to a conversation is just like display and search ads. People will ignore them.

And ads inserted in a conversation (as many suggest) is just weird. Like us talking and then I blurt out a brand associated with whatever we’re discussing. People won’t accept that.

Now If you listen to how they talk about the future of Twitter (like everyone using it within five years) you will see that they talk a lot about showing companies how to <insert something>.

The greatest value in Twitter is the conversations.

So what they will probably look to do is build a system for companies that allows them to spot conversations about involving or close to them AND THEN introduce the company into the conversation.

Sort of how you’d do if we were talking about someone you knew (but I didn’t). You’d pull them in to participate.

People (Twits) will LOVE this because what they really want when discussing a product, service or company is that company’s attention. Because people naturally crave attention for their expressions – whether they are bitching or raving.

Twitter then acts as a “trusted friend” (because you LOVE Twitter right) that adds “value to your conversations by introducing you to what your interested in” and “trusted partner” (because you LOVE Twitter right) that connects you with “valuable conversations about your brand and products.”

The ultimate “commerce and service engine” for advertisers. Better then Google for the user.

Because they (the advertiser) are coming to you (the Twitter user) in “real time” rather then you seeking (searching) for them. Giving you what you want exactly as your thinking about it.

For it doesn’t just solve problems (like generating new customer acquisition) for advertisers but spots them (like an unhappy customer upset about a transaction in your Chicago location). It doesn’t get more targeted and intimate then that.

This will be the most profitable way for Twitter to monetize. Perhaps the most useful service for advertisers and users ever?

Garrett Smith

Garrett Smith is a Technology Marketing and Sales Professional

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Frank

    Wow, Garrett. This is the first business model for Twitter that I’ve heard that actually makes sense. Everyone keeps wondering how they’ll ever monetize Twitter, and the usual spam-like ads seem to be the response. But as you note, that’s just not going to work, as it will invariably piss off the users.

    But your idea is something I think Twitter users will not only NOT find offensive, but will actually make Twitter MORE attractive. Sure, they’ll have to balance it in such a way as to not hammer users with requests/prompts (i.e., the virtual equivalent of sales people barraging you in retail stores, where you start with the usual “No thanks, I’m just browsing” and eventually feel like you have to beat them back with a stick). But done right, I definitely see the potential in this.

    Kudos on the idea. Here’s hoping someone at Twitter is paying attention.

  2. Garrett Smith


    Thanks. Thing is Google got lucky with Adwords. It won’t be replicated. Ever.

    The Twitter guys are smart and recognize that. So they aren’t going to mash ads in people’s faces. If they thought it’d work they would’ve done it long ago.

    They likely already have a monetization vehicle. Waiting until there’s too many conversations such that a company couldn’t possibly “do it all by themselves” anymore.

    It’d be cool if they did read this…Hey guys I only ask for 10% of whatever this makes you :)

  3. Dax

    Not bad, but think larger… twitter has a much MUCH larger footprint than the one pointed out above.

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