When will that tweet cost you?

I suppose it’s inevitable. There’s that old thing about, hm, what’s that? Oh, right Making Money. The bacon, the benjamins, the bill-payer, the thing that keeps companies alive and growing. It’s one of the trickiest nuts for all of these social media companies to crack (R.I.P. matchmine). I always wondered how Twitter would foray into the world of trying to pay their own way. Would they go the advertising route? Hard to do with all that user generated content. Would they offer an ad opt-out? They could charge a fee to users who choose to opt-out of ads. But how many people pay not to see ads? Right. Okay, so they could do a subscription model for users. Charge some sort of flat monthly fee based on usage (# of tweets, # of followers, direct messages). I suppose that could work but I have a feeling some other social media community site like Yammer would show up with no fees and eat their lunch.

So, maybe the best option is to go after the deep pockets. There are a whole bunch of companies like Zappos, Amazon and GoDaddy who have figured out the benefits of using Twitter to get real-time, real-honest feedback about their products and services. These companies are getting their social media on and creating loyalty, providing great service and connecting with their users – all free of charge. Brilliant! Why bother supporting an internal chat function or a room full of service reps when you can go directly to your users by creating a Twitter account?

Wonder how long it will be before Twitter starts to charge someone for something. The economy has made VCs more cautious about dishing out dollars and I’d be curious to know a) how much runway Twitter has with their existing funding and b) how much additional money they could raise without revenue either in-sight or in-pocket. So, Twitter, what’s it going to be?

And as for you, dear reader, any projections?

 

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