Monetizing Twitter

Adrian Henry from ReadWriteWeb offers the following suggestion as the ‘Ultimate Twitter Revenue Model‘:

The perennial debate surrounding Twitter’s revenue model continues to live on…If an acquisition isn’t shaping up, monetization will be necessary to keep Twitter afloat…leveraging context may prove to be a great way to drive revenues while maintaining the integrity of the platform.

Essentially, this would entail Twitter parsing over the Tweets of a given user, as well as the Tweets of the users he/she is following. Common keywords, themes, and phrases are then pulled from this data and associated with that user. As a result, highly-targeted ads can be displayed based on the user’s network of content (“web design”, for example). These simple text ads would look very similar to regular Tweets, but would be clearly marked as “Sponsored Content”. Facebook employs a comparable strategy through their News Feed, although ads are based on demographic information as opposed to context. These Twitter ads would appear every 20 or so Tweets depending on the frequency chosen by the company.

My main issue with Adrian’s proposal is that I don’t like the idea of interrupting the ‘flow’ of information. Google does a nice job in its ‘free’ services such as Gmail, by having ads placed on the side of content, as opposed being injected directly into the content itself. I believe Twitter should employ something similar


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