Is Twitter Finally Choosing a Business Model?

Ever since Twitter secured as much as $100 million dollars funding last year, speculation went wild on what kind of business model they will adopt. In November, Twitter COO Dick Costolo confirmed that the first piece to fall into place is the Ad platform which he described as “fascinating. Non-traditional. And people will love it… It’s going to be really cool.

What We Know So Far?

Now we are getting closer to the day when this Ad-platform will be introduced publicly and it maybe as soon as next month during the South by Southwest Conference. According to the Wall Street Journal, the long awaited Twitter platform will look something like this:

  • The ads will be tied to Twitter search, displaying only the ads that are relevant to the search term.
  • The ads will be 140 or fewer characters, 3rd party applications will have the option to display the ads and Twitter will share revenue with them if they do.
  • Twitter will work with ad agencies at first but will move to a Google like self-serve model later on.
  • Non invasive and will be clearly marked as “sponsored” tweets

What we already know about the Ad-platform leaves a lot of speculations running in everyone’s head in relation to how it will work and what impact it will have on Twitter’s ever expanding user base.

What Will the Ads Look like?

An ad

An ad

Will the ads be clearly labeled like’s In-Stream ads? Or will they be more like “I am having the new Italian burger at McDonalds” and “My favorite Chips is so-n-so or the direct in your face kind of “Click this link and 20% off of your next purchase”.

How will you pay for the ads?

With the way Twitter is used, it makes little sense that the cost of an ad is to be calculated on a per follower or per view bases, since a per click model is much more efficient. But that leaves the door wide open for them to auction off certain keywords or hash-tags to help increase an advert’s rank among search results.

Who Can Place Ads?

As a user, will I be able to place ads in my own stream and gain revenue from it, will I be able to allow in-stream ads in my feed and be able to share some of the revenue? Is there a way for Twitter users to get  a chunk of the Twitter Ad pie? Or this Ad sharing is limited to those 3rd party apps who allow it to appear in their search streams? And does that mean that the deals Twitter struck with Bing, Yahoo, and Google will lead to Twitter ads appearing in their Twitter searches as well?

How Useful is the Twitter Search?

That's a lot of Info but I can't find anything!

That's a lot of Info but I can't find anything!

Currently, with Twitter getting closer to its 10 billionth tweet, sifting through all this information is both very frustrating and not all that useful. You basically can look at conversations that occurred but you lack the context or the trails of it. Therefore, to make this Ad platform work, Twitter might need to completely overhaul its search engine.

How Tweeps Will React?

There are still plenty of questions about the ad platform but one thing is for sure: it is coming soon! At least we won’t have to wait too long to see it unveiled and see how Twitter users will react to having ads on a platform they felt they owned from the get-go.

With recent hints of “Nifty” new features becoming available to Twitter soon, we certainly are going to experience a different user experience with the service and hopefully it will keep on growing and wooing more and more users in the future.

What do you think of Twitter ads in your stream? Are you willing to sell ads in your stream if that became available to you? Let us hear your thoughts.

Comments and Reactions

2 responses to “Is Twitter Finally Choosing a Business Model?”

  1. Beiruta says:

    Ads are there whether we like them or not! Therefore, if they are placed in a more or less organized and definitely less intrusive manner, I think this will be a great achievement!

  2. I've often wondered how twitter make money and why there aren't ads even on my twitter profile page which if it were any other website would probably have at least one or two ads somewhere on the page.

    I don't think I would sell ads in my twitter stream, I don't have that many followers anyway. But I wouldn't care if twitter advertised either. I don't think it would make much difference, to me twitter is full of ads as it is. 9 out of 10 tweets that I see seem to be some kind of self promotion! (maybe it's the people I follow!)

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