Twitter to Remain Free, Business Model Still Unknown

I love the response to the recent Twitter business model buzz on the Twitter blog:

However, it’s important to note that whatever we come up with, Twitter will remain free to use by everyone—individuals, companies, celebrities, etc. What we’re thinking about is adding value in places where we are already seeing traction, not imposing fees on existing services. We are still very early in the idea stage and we don’t have anything to share just yet despite a recent surge in speculation.

All illustrated with a press clippings image. I wonder how big this one will be on Techmeme?

Is Twitter considering charging business users?

Twitter’s ongoing search for ways to monetise the service and generate an income may include charging corporate users for the privilege of sending out their tweets.

That’s according to co-founder Biz Stone, speaking recently to Marketing magazine. “We are noticing more companies using Twitter and individuals following them. We can identify ways to make this experience even more valuable and charge for commercial accounts,” he said.

A small sample of companies au fait with Twitter gave mixed feedback to the proposal. While LoveFilm said that it would depend on “price, demand and what else is around”, MD of We Are Social, Robin Grant, said that Twitter could charge for display ads or to access customer information for marketing purposes, while the VP of Dell, Bob Pearson, suggested that the company would look elsewhere if things became “complicated and costly”. [Read more…]

Biz Stone Prefers Be-A-Magpie to Twittad

TwitterLos Angeles Times runs a piece on Twitter, focusing on how to make money on the service. They’ve got co-founder Biz Stone to mention some of the models considered, like the corporate accounts approach, as well as identity verification. I like that last one, it is funny since it point to a flaw in social media rather than actually adds something that shouldn’t already be there:

“Like, users who want to know: is that the real Shaquille O’Neal or not?” Stone said. “Maybe we could help users by saying, Yup, definitely the real Shaquille O’Neal. That’s a real account. We checked with them.”

That being said, the article is more focused on the ad services already running on Twitter, especially since Stone himself doesn’t consider ads at this time. Twittad is mentioned, obviously a more successful service that I could’ve guessed. [Read more…]

Twitter Turns Up the Heat On Spam, Hires People

Twitter wants us to know that they are trying to fight the spam hitting them. In a blog post, they outline how they combat spam, highlighting three different areas:

  • Suspended Accounts which is really a better internal admin tool
  • Community Powered Alerts which is really better analyzing of spam blocking by users
  • Dedicated Personnel which is hiring more people to manage the spam problem

Sure, the explanations above might be my interpretation, but I believe it pretty much sums it up. This is all well and good, but what calms me the most (had I been upset, that is), is how Biz Stone wraps up the post:

There is no magic wand we can wave or switch we can flip to make it all go away. Spammers will keep finding inventive new ways to advance their motives and harm user experience and we’ll keep shutting them down and slowing their progress. We just wanted to make sure everyone knows that we are taking spam seriously.

Thanks for not bullshitting us, Biz! To be completely honest, spam isn’t such an issue for me (on Twitter). Then again, I’m not re-following everyone following, so I’m probably not that easy to get to for the spammers.