Twitter Prepares for Monetization, Adds Marketing Messages

I noticed that Twitter started adding self-marketing messages under the profile stats.  The messages are written as dictionary definitions and somewhat remind me of what you used to get when searching for the name of a Google service.

twitter marketing messages? twitter marketing messages?

Some fresh examples from Twitter:

My question is the following: could this be the first roll out of Twitter’s monetization strategy? Take a prominent location on the screen and add catchy messages – what you could potentially get is a bunch of clicks.

But Twitter has many other opportunities to capture value at this point.

  1. Exit – Twitter recently received acquisition offer from Facebook in the neighborhood of $500 million: $100 in cash and the rest in Facebook stock according to Peter Thiel’s interview to BusinessWeek. Negotiations slowed down when Twitter disagreed on Facebook’s valuation, but the two companies are still talking. Google might have spent $50 million on Jaiku already, but you have to be naive to believe that Google’s corp dev team isn’t courting Twitter.
  2. Sell Followers – How much would you pay to have the same number of followers as Barack Obama? Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis offered Twitter $250,000 to get the top spot in Twitter’s recommendations. But do followers translate into cash? According to Hitwiseless than one out of every 10 Twitter users heads to a retail or shopping site, not exactly an impulse buyer reflex.
  3. Sponsored Tweets – I’ve been thinking/twittering a lot about this one. I believe that in less than a year, we’ll start seeing ’sponsored’ twitter messages from brand avdertisers. Targeting can be done according to the user’s updates and followers. For example, by looking at my updates, it’s pretty clear that I care about tech start ups and venture capital. Given the right inventory of advertisers (hint: Google) you have got yourself a money minting ad space.
  4. Twitter Alerts/Brand Monitoring – some services have started to offer this already, but it can easily be packaged by Twitter to a suite of enterprise services measuring buzz and brand sentiment.
  5. Twitter as a service  – sure, Yammer is cool, but it’s not Twitter. It doesn’t have the same feel to it, and it never will. Twitter could capitalize on the mainstream media buzz (i.e. I saw a 3 minute segment on Sky News about Twitter today) to offer a paid version of Twitter for organizations.

Sure, usage is growing through the roof, but can the statusphere king make money where Facebook and YouTube struggled?

I welcome your thoughts and invite you to continue the discussion by following VC Cafe on Twitter.

Related: Twitter Experimenting With Text Advertising

Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote
Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Ezewas a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.
Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Eze was a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.

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