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Why I owe twitter money & you do too. Plus my thoughts on the twitter business model.

Ok by now everyone should know what twitter is and how it works, if not watch this video Twitter in Plain english and if you still need help hire me for a one on one training session via @Tweetshops. But why is twitter creating all this buzz on the internet?  Some say twitter is just an online public version of an irc chat.

Twitter started being just a low key “microblogging” social network that only a few serious geeks used to share urls and information about what’s happening in the technology community. In the beginning a lot of the links and conversations were around Engadget, Gizmodo and TUAW. How do I know; I was number 847 to sign-up for twitter.

TweetStats :: for waynesutton

Now everyone one from mommy bloggers, to main stream journalist, to marketing companies and just about your everyday internet user has a twitter account (almost). Dell just announced that by using twitter they have generated $1 million in revenue and you can best believe others are trying to do the same.

So to my point, “why I owe twitter money and you do too”. For me it’s simple, I evaluate the value of my network and brand now before a year ago. I ask myself “How many people knew Wayne Sutton before twitter?” Think about it for a second, how are you using twitter in your day to day lives? Especially if you’re a blogger and using twitter to post to your twitter profile for traffic or if you’re using twitter for ideas to write blog post.

Even though twitter is just a “tool” that allows conversations and relationships to grow for the world to see, think about how often you use the tool and what the tool was used for in 2008 (earthquakes, fire, politics, etc). I was recently asked on twitter about the site Tweetwasters that’s measures how much time you have spent on twitter by @jtobin and in a blog post from Microblink. Tweetwasters says I’ve wasted 6.57 days on twitter.


Tweetwasters – waynesutton (Wayne Sutton) - Wastin’ Time Tweetin’

My response was, ”For what twitter has done for me it’s worth every second. #lovemyfollowers view my tweet here.

In terms of what kind of business model twitter releases in 2009, I’m not sure but below are a few that I think they will implement and if I have to pay for a monthly subscription for twitter, show me the checkout button because I’m buying.

My top five people who I think owe twitter money.

  1. @BarackObama – used twitter (and social media) to become President
  2. CNN & @Ricksanchezcnn – we all know how the news media industry is doing, Rick has a show call has a new show called “join the conversation”, congrats
  3. @GaryVee – I love this man, built a great following and used twitter to promote his TV shows
  4. @zappos – Used to twitter for marketing and customer relationship building
  5. Anyone who’s selling a twitter iPhone app or using twitter api for a 3rd party site & selling ads on it.
  6. About to add @hubspot to the list too, using twitter for marketing, (good job guys)

My predictions on how twitter will make money:

  1. Top right ad above profile information
  2. Inline ads between tweets, with option to remove if you’re a subscriber
  3. Corporate network twitter accounts via company name, or email (like yammer)
  4. Sponsored tweets and allow others to create a sponsored tweet monetization system (magpie)
  5. Paid background features: Allow css and html custom backgrounds
  6. Paid group & tweet features: more than 140 characters or video/image posting (like pownce)
  7. A paid follow service, if you want follow more than 500, 1,000 or 2,000 friends
  8. Custom search data information sold to news/media or marketing companies
  9. Paid API features.

I’m not sure if twitter will use any of these methods to make money but if their business model works in 2009, I might be writing a blog post called “why twitter owes us money for promoting their site”, encouraging others to sign up and now they are making millions. Only time will tell.

I’m @WayneSutton on twitter, a social media strategist & technology evangelist with 11,525 followers. If you’re looking to use twitter or social media for your business contact me.


Who are your top two or five people who I think owe twitter money also?

Do you feel that you owe twitter money too? Let me know in the comments.

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