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 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.