Twitter Will Also Get Into Commerce 2.0 with Earlybird

Flash sales and daily deals are so hot right now. Today Twitter took the wraps off @earlybird, a company-run account that will publish and promote offers from advertisers. Initial offers will be targeted at the U.S., but Twitter promises it is looking into location-specific and interest-specific deals. Twitter says to expect offers to always be “time-sensitive and sometimes supply-sensitive.”

As is its wont, Twitter is weaving this monetization scheme into the way its messaging service already works, with at least some deals coming from @earlybird “retweeting” deals advertisers have posted on their own Twitter accounts. Like Groupon and Gilt Groupe, advertising and content are one and the same, delivered to users who have specifically indicated their interest in seeing deals. Multiple advertisers already use Twitter in this way, for instance United Airlines with its limited-time offer “twares” regularly posted on Twitter.com/unitedairlines.

But my favorite part of Twitter’s explainer about the announcement is when the company admits they are actually doing this for capitalistic revenue-generating reasons. Finally!

Does Twitter make money from this?

Yes, we earn revenue through our relationships with advertisers. Our focus will be to try and make these deals interesting and of value to you. We take pride in being selective about the type of deals we highlight and hope they will be an exciting way to start your day.

The first inkling of @earlybird came last week with a report by ReadWriteWeb.

Meanwhile, Boston-based BuyWithMe, a direct competitor of Groupon and the many other daily deal sites, today filed with the SEC that it had raised $16 million from investors including Matrix Partners. Yipit reports BuyWithMe is the third-largest daily deals site behind Groupon and LivingSocial, which have raised more than $170 million and $44 million, respectively.

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