Twitter COO Dick Costolo kicked off day two of Internet Week NY and the CM Summit by talking about what Twitter — which he says now has 190 million monthly users — will offer to third parties and what it won’t. Now that it has added location services and “promoted tweets,” Costolo told Federated Media’s John Battelle in a Q&A that Twitter will roll out “annotations” for tweets. The annotations will allow third parties to create “structured content,” where, for example, a company could connect a game and tweet players’ moves or actions. While that could be a gift to content companies, third party ad networks could find themselves constricted as Twitter tries to find ways of balancing commerce and user-experience.
While Costolo said that there wouldn’t be an automatic attempt to pre-empt ad nets from Twitter, he said micro-blog would always bend toward protecting the users against overly intrusive marketing. Perhaps mindful of the trouble Facebook has found itself in regarding privacy issues, Costolo said that Twitter will soon have a “Public Interest Graph,” where advertisers would be able to target according to public information — such as tweets and who people are following in the aggregate. But he promised that the targeting would target subjects and topics, not individuals.
Aside from that, Costolo also said that Twitter would create other opportunities for marketers to plan and use the service in better ways. Costolo said that Twitter would create a paid service around analytics. Still, don’t expect holy grail here, Costolo cautioned. “Analytics is like quantum mechanic — they more information you have, the more you realize you don’t know.”