Twitter gives companies access to over 56 million users per day. The issue surrounding the service is how to turn this massive user base into paying customers. In essence, how to monetise Twitter.
Here are five theories which the site could use to generate the green.
After Rupert Murdoch declared all online content from News Corporation papers would be subscription based from 2010 in the UK, one has to wonder if the same principal could be applied to Twitter. Would users pay to receive exclusive tweets and access material only available on the service?
A V.I.P account for a musician would give subscribers links to new, unheard material. A software company would offer programmes with 'exclusive' features. A movie studio may offer a subscription fee for tweets about new trailers or deleted scenes from films.
Spotify, the music service of the hour, pays its bills by airing a commercial every five tracks or so. Would it be possible for Twitter to offer universal advertising – paid-for tweets which show up on all accounts at regular periods of the day? I'm sure companies would be climbing all over each other to pay for access to over 56 million visitors per day.
Using a celebrity name to make money is not a new theory. Hello and OK Magazine have both run high-profile media campaigns focusing on various celebrity columnists. A weighty celebrity writer – dispensing facts or rumours about their A-list circles – can shift copies from shelves.
Could the same process be used for Twitter? Would users pay to read the tweets of Lily Allen or Lady Gaga?
Probably. Yeah, depressing, isn't it?
A PPC campaign for Twitter is not unlikely. Users searching for specific hashtags and keywords would be presented with a 'sponsored link' – a company or service related to the search which is located at the top of the result page.
Facebook offers users the option to befriend users they may know. Could Twitter also use this theory for commercial gain? Say a user follows Dell computers. Would it be profitable for Twitter to recommend a rival computer manufacturer based on paid advertising?