Twitter Bringing Revenue This Year, Not Charging Businesses Yet

news_headlines001This week, there’s been a flurry of news about Twitter’s business plans. Okay, so Twitter’s business plans have been the subject of news for months, but this time it looked like Twitter was about to come out with a revenue model: charging businesses for certain add-on services.

Some people took this to mean that they would charge big brands for using the service in the first place, a claim that Twitter co-founder Biz Stone takes to task on the Twitter Blog. So, just to be clear, even though we reported this correctly earlier this week, I’m going to say it again:

Twitter is not going to charge anyone to tweet

Its basic service has always been and will always be free, as Stone asserts:

Monetizing Mobile: Google Launches AdSense for Mobile Search

by Rene LeMerle

Building on the initial AdSense for Mobile launched back in Sept 2007, Google have just unveiled their new mobile AdSense product.

AdSense for Mobile Search, as it’s been labeled, is aimed squarely at mobile network operators and mobile website owners. The new offering will allow them to embed a Google search box on their mobile sites and cobrand the results pages.

According to the release post:

mobile phone users will get instant access to Google search including comprehensive web search, local, image, and news results — all formatted for their phones. Mobile operators and website owners share in the ad revenue generated by searches originating from their sites.

Google Officially Syncs with Mobiles

Although some third-party apps have provided these capabilities for a while, yesterday Google announced an official product to sync your phone with your Google products. Google Sync (in beta) (duh) coordinates your phone with your Google Calendar and your Google Contacts.

The new app allows you to push changes to your calendar and contacts from your computer to your phone and vice versa.

BlackBerries have had these capabilities for a while, but now Google Sync will link up with any phone adhering to the SyncML standard. And just in case this is a feature you’re looking for, it’ll also overwrite your current contacts.

This product comes just two weeks after bringing offline capabilities to Gmail, and at least superficially it seems like “push” mobile Gmail is the logical next step for these two products.

Twitter to Charge Businesses?

The co-founder of Twitter Biz Stone has confirmed that Twitter plans to charge businesses for extra services. There are few details or dates. But that’s the question in all of our minds—especially the investors who put $20 million into Twitter and I assume want to see a return.

No doubt Twitter has proven its value—TechCrunch wrote that Dell made a million over the holidays by using Twitter to tell people about discounts and sales.

There are said to be anywhere from 4 million to 6 million people using Twitter (LinkedIn.com is said to have over 20 million users and turn a profit). The problem with monetizing social networks is that people don’t go there to buy, but to communicate. Plus, they’re used to getting everything free. Even Dell’s VP was quoted as saying that Twitter better keep it simple and inexpensive if they do plan to charge.

Searchers Love Google but Not That Loyal

It shouldn’t be news to anyone that Google is the most popular search engine in almost every market. But a recent study by Forrester Research found that searchers’ love of Google isn’t matched by exclusive loyalty to Google search.

While 20% of searchers do use Google exclusively, the vast majority (55%) use more than one search engine on a weekly basis. Other search engines fare far worse than Google, though, with Yahoo cornering only 8% of the exclusive market. The news might be worst for Microsoft/MSN/Live/whatever: in terms of exclusive use, they tie for last place among the search engines measured, after AOL (3%) and users’ ISP engines (2%), tying with Ask.com at 1%.

forrester search engine exclusive shares

The study indicates that people turn to different search engines for different tasks.

Protect Your Brand Before It’s Too Late

Deserved or not, sometimes a single negative review or mention can taint a brand for a long time. When these negative reviews come over the Internet—and especially when they make the first page of the SERPs—their impact can become even more devastating.

VP-client strategy at EWI Worldwide Keith Goldberg recounts one such incident today at Ad Age:

There on Google, sitting solidly in the fourth position — right below three killer, above-the-fold search listings for my brand — was a listing titled “customer complaints.” Customer complaints about my company.

I quickly clicked. The list of complaints were unsubstantiated, even comical, and the company they were blasting didn’t sound at all like us. But there was our name, plain as day.

Analysis of the Little Gordon Campaign for Caterer.com

By Kevin Palmer

One of my favorite things about social media is to see how marketers use it and to examine the strategies that are behind a campaign. Last fall Totaljobs Group Ltd ran a campaign for one of their properties Caterer.com. The concept of the campaign was a video series about Little Gordon (videos contain strong language), a play on the reality television show cooking host and star chef Gordon Ramsey. The campaign hit the right marks with these videos. They look really good, they are concise, they have a tinge of controversy but most of all they are funny.