Early Bird Gets the Twitter Revenue Worm
One of the things that Twitter continues to be hammered on is how the heck the company will make money.
There have been rumors of paid accounts as well as sponsored Tweets. The latest and greatest is @earlybird Exclusive Offers, special time-bound deals, sneak-peeks, and events that are promoted by the official Twitter @earlybird account.
To make this work, Twitter has partnered with select advertisers and as a result, @earlybird retweet offers that advertisers have crafted only for the Twitter community. The advertising partners determine the terms of the offer, including availability, amount and price.
In an FAQ, the question is asked, "Why are you doing this?"
We believe that surfacing deals through the @earlybird account will help you discover the best of those deals, as well as find and follow accounts that consistently provide exceptional value.Other than those details, the company doesn't offer much other then to hint that location-based advertising might be part of this program.
While this is a good idea on paper, I think it's more cloak than dagger.
Yes, Twitter will enable advertisers to get tremendous exposure to millions of users, but users have to be following the @earlybird account to see the deals. Even then, it might not be effective.
Twitter is like a river. Content that flows on the river are like fish swimming by. End users of Twitter are like fishermen who have to cast out a line to get their catch. Sometimes they catch they catch a fish, sometimes they don't. Often times, fish will just pass right by the fisherman without him even knowing. Even then, there are times that fisherman are looking for a certain type of fish and let other types just pass them by.
For this advertising model to work and really help Twitter make money, there has to be a lot of fisherman with the type of fish they want to catch. However, this will never be the case.
Twitter is a user driven community that won't be forced to consumer content they don't want. Of course, Twitter knows this so in order for a user to take advantage of @earlybird, they have to follow the account — a classic opt-in strategy.
However, Twitter is meant to be social and fueled by user-generated content, not dictated by advertiser messaging.
Overall, @earlybird is an interesting and simple approach for Twitter to make money. They key to success will be how sweet the advertisers sweeten the content pot.