Since Twitter is getting itself back in the industry news with trademark travesties, DDoS attacks and some sideways competitive compliments it makes sense that the conversation turn to the R word: revenue.
No matter how much news Twitter generates the focus always returns to, and rightly so, how they plan to make money with the service. One of the options that are being discussed over at Digital Beat in an interview with none other than Biz Stone is the introduction of commercial level accounts that companies would – hold on to your seat here – pay for.
Co-founder Biz Stone said the company is in the first phase of rolling out commercial accounts that will entice business users to pay for premium services like detailed analytics. After that, the company might move into building business-oriented application programming interfaces, creating a “commercial layer” over the social network.
This is good news for both Twitter and those who really want to use Twitter for business reasons. Right now, you can talk to 10 experts and get 20 different theories or techniques to use Twitter for commercial purposes. Part of the problem is that there are just third party applications that help provide some deeper insight into the Twitterverse.
For those who are comfortable with the service and the space that it plays in there is little trouble with this model. What is happening though is that as more mainstream business folks become aware of Twitter they want to get information from Twitter directly. Why? Let’s face it, most traditional business people barely understand what Twitter is and what its potential help to their business could be. As a result, when these people hear that they may need to rely on even smaller players that may not be making any money either, they get unnerved about putting resources behind something that might just ‘go away’. Whether that view is warranted or not is irrelevant. It exists so it has to be addressed. The more Twitter offers businesses directly the better off they all will be.
Another part of the interview revealed that Twitter had some discussions with FriendFeed before Facebook made the acquisition recently. As a result, Twitter could be looking for targets. Maybe they’ll buy a revenue stream?
“We’re at a point where even though we’re only two years old, acquisitions are definitely possible,” Stone said.
Let’s do some informal market research for the folks at Twitter. What commercial services could they offer that would make you or your company open up a slot in your budget? Is there something that you would add to your Twitter wish list that would help utilize Twitter more effectively for business purposes?