5 Questions about Twitter Advertising
How long can Twitter wait before generating substantial revenue?
Would advertising ruin Twitter?
In an interview with MediaPost, Twitter's Anamitra Banerji hinted at an unobtrusive strategy. During a panel at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, Banerji asked, "What if brands start to participate" in discussions of their goods and services? The head of product management and monetization at Twitter said ads would be "relevant and useful, so the user doesn't think of it as an ad."
Seth Goldstein, the head of SocialMedia.com and the moderator of the IAB panel, offered a glimpse of how Twitter might treat various ads. Odds seem to favor an "in-stream" approach that differentiates between purchased tweets and others.
Since Twitter was born as a service to be used on mobile devices as well as a computers, might there be different advertising opportunities on browser-based Twitter than on the small mobile screen?
Who will place ads and receive revenue from them?
Twitter's Banerji told MediaPost that the company "is completely comfortable around other people innovating around us" so long as Twitter can avoid "bad ads" that reflect negatively on the company. (Colon cleansers, anyone?)
Where does advertising fit into Twitter's overall business model?
For example, in 2008, Twitter acquired search.twitter.com, bringing Summize's successful staff in-house. Smith identifies several other early-stage ventures, which essentially amount to tutoring companies small and large (like Dell and Best Buy) -- in how to use Twitter as a sales or customer-relations tool.
So advertising, while hardly incidental, may not end up being the main event in a fully formed business plan.