April 15, 2010

Twitter Announces New Revenue System

Twitter announced on Wednesday that they had surpassed the 100 million user mark, and unveiled plans to make the social networking website profitable in the near future.

The increased focus on profitability marks a change in policy for Twitter officials, who previously had emphasized their commitment to user satisfaction. However, during an April 14 conference with Twitter developers, CEO Evan Williams shifted the focus to generating revenue.

"Money is important," Williams said at the San Francisco summit, according to Reuters. "It takes a hell of a lot of money to run Twitter. There has to be a very solid revenue stream underneath this to fuel it."

On Tuesday, Twitter announced a new program called "Promoted Tweets," a new quasi-advertising program that will help the website raise money without being intrusive.

According to Mark Hachman of PCMag.com, "Unlike Google, which places its text-based AdWords ads alongside its search results, a promoted tweet will in fact be a tweet, not an ad. The tweet probably, but not necessarily, will be placed at the top of the search results, identified with a different background color, and labeled as a promotional tweet. Since it is a tweet, users will be able to retweet, respond, or favorite it, just like other tweets."

The ads will be limited to the search results page for now while the company evaluates their effectiveness, according to what co-founder Biz Stone told AP Technological Writer Michael Liedtke on April 14.

"We are not fretting over whether people are going to hate us" for showing advertising, Stone told Liedtke. "Because we have taken such a thoughtful approach, we think people are going to embrace them and like them."


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