Today both Microsoft and Google announced partnerships with Twitter for including tweets in their search results. If I had to guess, I would think they were paying for this data. In other words, Twitter just figured out how to make some money.
Remember when Jason Calacanis said he’d pay $250k to be a “suggested” follow and TechCrunch said this was how twitter would make money:
If other companies feel the same way, sellingthese slots could be a lucrative side business for Twitter. At $120,000 a pop, 20 slots would generate $2.4 million in revenues the first year.
And then there was Sam Gustin on Wired.com on 8/04/08 lamenting that waiting to make money was going to hurt them:
Stone’s hesitance to “monetize” Twitter echoes that of other major Web 2.0 companies, such asFacebook and YouTube, whose founders have said they’d build their audience first and find revenue streams later. But those giants have shown that converting eyeballs into money hasn’t exactly been easy; Facebook has yet to start generating meaningful profit, and Google has said on a number of occasions that it has yet to find the right business model for monetizing YouTube’s considerable traffic. Twitter, despite some plans Stone has up his sleeve, may very well find itself in the same position.
I think you have to look no farther than facebook to see where all of this is headed. They are the Google of social media. They are going to figure it out When they do something that works (becoming a platform for third party apps) others will follow in their wake. When they make a mistake (beacon version one) others will learn from that mistake. I am not saying that twitter is going to monetize exactly the way facebook is going, but I think that’s a good place to look for inspiration right now.
Remember when Bernard Lunn (10/15/2008) was complaining because Twitter wouldn’t tell us how they planned to make money? Oh noes:
Twitter is the poster child for the ‘scale first, don’t even think about revenue at launch, monetize much, much later’ model of startup. In the current climate, ventures like that probably won’t get funded. Which is a shame. Twitter is addictive and fun and even occasionally useful. If anybody can pull this business model off, it will be Twitter. It has scale, seem to be moving mainstream and they’ve even fixed their reliability issues.
But Twitter won’t survive if it doesn’t find a great revenue model. This matters to all of us.
So, what now that they know how they are going to make monies?