Posted August 21, 2009 10:04 am by with 13 comments

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Twitter iconSince 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?

  • Europa Bonus

    Using Tweets to promote a website could be extremely hard.
    It should be combined with the use of other article submission sites to increase traffic.

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  • Jacob Stoops

    We’ll see how that goes? I’m sure a lot of companies will invest, but I’m not sure that too many non-tech companies really know how to leverage Twitter properly.
    .-= Jacob Stoops´s last blog ..The SEO Circle of Life =-.

  • ShimCode

    I think this is a great thing for Twitter to pursue. Some quick ideas I have include:

    1. Integration with contact lists & rights management stores (like MS active directory and Exchange)

    2. Follower and Followees based on time periods/effective dates

    3. Native URL shortening services

    4. Enhanced Hashtag configuration and maintenance

    5. Auto-reply condition based on hashtags, keywords and other contextual codes

    6. Enhanced access contro, privacy and security features to enable use where PHI and HIPAA come into play

    I have more later

  • Nikki Thomas

    I’m not surprised by this at all. I knew Twitter was going to find a way to make money sooner or later.
    .-= Nikki Thomas´s last blog ..Five Minutes of Heaven (Theatrical Trailer) Starring Liam Neeson =-.

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  • nancy @ princetoncryo LLC

    The way companies are using Twitter to promote their brand, Twitter would earn BIG time from them.

  • Rob Wilcox

    Our company is relatively new to Twitter, but I already realize that sorting through several third-party applications to get information (tracking links, followers, finding relevant people to follow, etc) is time-consuming and just a pain. I’d be interested to see what Twitter will charge for these types of accounts and what kinds of analytics they will make available. This could very well make using Twitter for business easy!

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  • John Lee

    I have a feeling this would be a great challenge for small businesses, but let us see the and wait until the guidelines are publish.

  • Joel Gross

    It will be interesting to see how this will affect the way businesses use Twitter. What specifically makes a commercial account more attractive than a personal account for businesses? And do we know the price tag yet? Do you think the additional costs are worth it for a business Frank?

    Joel Gross
    .-= Joel Gross´s last blog ..The Power of Outsourcing =-.

  • Danielle

    It would take alot for me to see a value in paying for twitter.

    The enhanced statistics would be a nice start,
    I would also to be able to easily import a spreadsheet of current customers to find these contacts on twitter
    Integrate something like tweetbeep to listen to customers
    Integrate an easy way to find relevant people to follow
    Enhanced abilities in setting up our profile page
    And also a clear way to make money/direct customers to our website.
    .-= Danielle´s last blog ..Click_Inks: @ashiant Need HP LaserJet 4200 Toner? Only $60 for 1, or $54 each if you stock up! Check it out: =-.