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Summary:

Twitter’s money-making plans are either imminent or on the back-burner, depending on which exec you ask. But the micro-blogging service has…

imageTwitter’s money-making plans are either imminent or on the back-burner, depending on which exec you ask. But the micro-blogging service has kicked off another round of speculation about its potential revenues by rolling out text ads on profiles. The ads are in-house for now, pointing users to the Twitter search page, or the new Twitter widget, but it’s not a stretch to imagine third-party text ads in their place.

The house ads do raise a number of questions: Would they run on a cost-per-click (CPC) or impression basis? We’ve seen that Twitter isn’t a great direct-response tool for retailers yet, and companies tend to use CPC ads to drive sales or other conversions. But if the ads ran on impressions, would it make the most sense for them to only show up on popular profiles? Would there be a minimum follower count to be eligible, and, of course, would heavily trafficked accounts get a cut of the revenue?

Lastly, there’s the question of targeting, as in, how would Twitter determine an ad’s relevance? By mining the user’s tweet stream for a theme? By gauging the interests of his or her followers? We’ve got a call in to the company for some answers, and will keep you posted when we hear back.

  1. How about this query: Since majority of users don't go to Twitter homepages, except before they decide to follow someone, why bother advertising there at all?

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  2. Definitely a good point. It would be interesting to see stats on how much time is spent on homepages — I spend time on my own, of course, but I also linger on other people's profiles to catch up on their streams, see who they're replying to, etc.

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  3. It doesn't necessarily have to be hashes. You can use the full 140 characters for pattern or topic/context recognition. I programmed some vertical Twitter aggregators e.g. for different kinds of grapes (yes, some Twitterati are very fond of their wines) or to read what people are twittering about the Oktoberfest in Munich ;-)

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