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TWITTER: THE DARK SIDE
TWITTER FRENZY: A Money Making Machine of the Future?

Over 95% of all traffic on Twitter is automated generated garbage, bots powered, sub-human world of pings and clicks, redirectors, spam and storages of endless bytes. All these activities cost money, waste energy and, yes, pollute!

Clicks or Click Fraud?

Bit.ly Clicks Animation

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Twitter: The Dark Side Study

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Twitter: The Dark Side | FRENZY: A Money Making Machine of the Future?

No one enters an empty restaurant. VCs (Venture Capital) do not invest in Internet based businesses whose websites dwell alone in the cyberspace. But they might shovel millions on some money hungry bottomless pit, if it has enough users. Twitter for sure does have them so on 24th of September 2009, Twitter raised another $100 million that valued its venture at about $1billion. Even in a country where trillions are Wall Street’s pocket change, a cool billion is not such a bad deal for a company that yet has to make a single penny or write a business plan.

Some, like famous web commentator “maudib” might laugh at all that – “This is laughable, just like all the other fairy tales being handed down to the gullible public. If anyone can show how in the world a company that has NO visible means of support has NO income and provides a Global service with no intent of letting up but only spending more money to get people to just type “what you feel”, I would be interested.” – but the Twitter Frenzy is on and well, thank you very much.

How Twitter might make a buck or two for its greedy investors? Let us examine Twitter’s future through the eyes of the TIME Magazine that some time ago pondered the same issue. Before it turns us all into CO2 polluting zombies Twitter might make a profit and do something of value by:

  • Processing micro payments; a kind of PayPal on “I Shrink the Kids” pill — small loans or payments to companies for services. This is already in its early stages. www.twitpay.me already exists,
  • TwitterBerry accounts, used on RIM (RIMM) Blackberry handsets, make it nearly impossible for messages to be tracked by data use ergo, Twitter might change Telecommunication business – don’t we all hate our cell phone providers and their exuberant rates anyway?,
  • Megan’s Law Alert, Iran Revolution support, natural disasters reaction; A person without food or water could send a tweet with the location sent by the GPS on the portable device and watch CNN’s report how the Government does nothing to fulfill her or his needs (hint: do you think Katrina Tweets would change anything?),
  • TIME also believes Philanthropy on Twitter will involve social activism and fundraising. Tea parties, whether held in public or in cyberspace, can be set up by getting Twitter users to follow certain political groups and causes. God save us some Twitter based hysteria on "change we can believe in" but Twitter really could also be a useful way for people to voice their opinions in response to real-time events,
  • Hyper-local marketing might be a place for Twitterees to thrive? Why would you go out and have a pizza when you can tweet your order and voila!, a Tweet Mobile Pizza Squad rushes in and feeds you while you tweet to the whole world how delicious pepperoni with mushrooms are in your part of the Twitterdom,
  • Outdoors advertising might move from huge and intrusive billboards to the tiny screens of mobile gadgets tuned in to Twitter; you could have Adriana Lima only for you, on you own shiny screen selling you Victoria’s Secrets bra,
  • Twitter might help pushing us all beyond the Banner & Social Advertising and raise the question what happens when $20billion industry implodes? Now only about 1% or less of all users click on banners and aggressive ads; people want to be engaged and not attacked by endless advertising,
  • Twitter could also be Yahoo! Finance killer, why not. Everyone is killing Yahoo! anyway so why would Twitter be left out? Twitter may become a huge platform for discussing stocks and other financial instruments and will probably replace message boards like the opinions at Yahoo! Finance as the preferred method for discussing individual public companies,
  • Collecting data on what people think about products or services is among the most expensive activities for large companies that rely on consumers for their sales. Market research, product development and research techniques like focus groups can take months to organize and execute while a real-time data gathered, analyzed and presented from Twitter’s time-line could be done almost instantaneously,
  • Old Media might become New Media on Twitter. It would be fun, to see Larry King regurgating the same old same old in 140 characters or less instead of spreading it out through the whole hour. More time for us to tweet, more time for Larry to tweet, more time for the whole world to tweet how tweeting changed the world!

Services like Twivert will grow like mushroom and tweets will become twinks (tweet + link) full of advertising. There is money to be made. Whatever Twitter’s and other, better established Social Networking sites impact would be one thing is clear: Social Networking sphere, whilst being the fastest growing phenomena on the Internet ever had not been monetized yet.

People learnt to disdain and mistrust advertisers. Old approach of aggressive banners and spam offers do not work anymore. The whole industry would have to find a whole new approach to the world of – “I” – “I” as the microblogger, “I” as a microcelebrity, “I” as a monetizing unit working around the clock on my iPhone.

These businesses that adapt to the most important dilemmas of a real-time world of “I” and understand that:

  • two way communication with a consumer instead of overwhelming her or him with the old push model, and
  • services that can sift the signal from the noise are going to win . With or without Twitter.

What we really need in a future is a search experience that let’s us discover the news in ways that fit why we actually care about it, that would really “sift the signal from the noise”. We need a search experience built around our friends and, lest we dwell too snugly in our own comfort zones, other expert readers we trust. These are all people—and their reputations or degrees of authority matter to us in much the same ways.

 

PART XI: So What Kind of the Future Twitter Evokes?

 

 



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