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Twitters Future – Uses, Enhancements and Revenue Models April 4, 2007

Posted by Daniel Gardner in Business Thoughts, Jason Calacanis.

After last nights post I have been thinking a lot about twitter and what they could do to enhance twitter and make it a viable business , I still think it is not going to become anywhere near as influential as other mediums such as blogging and social networking due to it’s simplicity but it defiantly defines a new category of sites that I would categorize as Group Instant Messaging.
I have put down some ideas on some revenue models, uses and enhancements that might make there way into twitter that haven’t been announced yet but could enhance the usability of twitter and allow it to reach a larger audience.

Uses for Twitter
As I was saying in my post yesterday twitter needs to expand past simply being a place for popular people to put down what they are currently doing in order to gain mainstream adoption.
The character limit imposes some restrictions for users that they simply do not have when they use other services such as blogs though I can see twitter being used for a few things other things rather than what you ate for breakfast, these are listed below:
Sport commenting

While watching a sports match people can comment on how there team is going or keep tabs on the score.
Event Commenting

Keep tabs on what is happening at a conferences (SXSW proved this as a good use)
Ask <celebrity>

Allow fans to ask questions to there favourite stars in real time rather than going to another portal

Have people ask there questions and have them answered immediately.

Twitter Enhancements

I think that there are a few enhancements that could be made to twitter to make it a better user experience, the simplicity is currently good but I think it needs to be filled out so that it is more flexible, maybe some of these will be fulfilled using the API though.
If any of these are already done please tell me in the comments and I will amend.
Twitter via email

Send and receive your twits via email rather than logging in online or using SMS, this would be especially good for office workers who are blocked at work.
[Update: Elliot has commented that this has already been done, the application can be found at EmailTwitter.com]
Twitter Multimedia
Allow users to upload Images, Video and audio to the site so that people can interact using there chosen medium, maybe allow users to call in to a message type system and add an audio twit.
Private/Public Messaging
Users can choose to have there messages cast out into the public eye, kept between friends or sent out to a specified group
allowing certain twits to be kept private.

Revenue Models
Twitters revenue model is something that is yet to surface, here are some ways I think that twitter may use to monetize there service:
People can choose to put contextual advertisements at the bottom of every twit made with twitter and the poster shares revenues with twitter, the user does not need to do anything but tick the box that says “display advertising in my twits” and when they reach a certain amount of revenue they can cash out.
Pay Per Twit
When someone reaches a certain amount of subscribers they need to pay per twit, or pay for every message that gets sent to a phone, ideally business and personal would be separated so that popular people aren’t having to shell out to pay for there twits but the amount of administration required would be huge due to the amount of twits made every minute.
Allow people to post a bounty for a simple question they wish to ask and have approved answerers to answer there questions in real time.
Premium Accounts
Some Ideas for possible incentives could be they can make posts with more characters (say 200), they can have unlimited subscribers or can make audio/video/picture twits or all of the above.

Also anyone who is interested and hasn’t already seen it, Jason Calacanis has a great Interview with Evan Williams the Co-founder of Twitter on the founding and the future of twitter, this can be found here.



1. Elliot - April 4, 2007

Hi, saw your list of desired Twitter enhancements. Regarding email support, check out EmailTwitter.com.

It’s a Mail-to-Twitter gateway that allows you to both send Tweets and retrieve your latest timeline via e-mail, without incurring SMS fees. It also supports some neat features like ‘yourfriend@emailtwitter.com’ direct messaging (without needing the ‘d username’ syntax), source email address registration, etc.

2. Not So-So Blog : the official blog » Blog Archive » Twitter makes us tremble - April 15, 2007

[…] get Twitter from a user perspective. IRC with an RSS and SMS output? Some people try to figure what Twitter might offer in the future, like… Sports commenting? Yeah… Add to that the confusion over the cost of receiving […]

3. Alexwebmaster - March 3, 2009

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