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Twitter hints at business model

Twitter is getting musical

It wasn’t the mobile advertising platform many were expecting, but social network Twitter certainly caused a stir with the launch of its @anywhere initiative, which does, er, something.

It was more a stir of confusion than disruption however. @anywhere was announced unceremoniously and without much in the way of explanation, promising users all the functionality of twitter, without needing to go to twitter.com.

At the moment we don’t really get it either. The service differs from the existing Twitter APIs by allowing site owners to drop their Twitter stream, profile and related data onto their site with a few lines of JavaScript, potentially making the service more available to web site owners, and more accessible to users by allowing them to follow a feed direct from the site they are browsing.

There’s a second strand to this platform however, one that goes up against the might of Facebook and its Connect initiative, which allows users to log into other services using their Facebook identity. Twitter may be keeping quiet about any advertising initiative, but this could be the premise for a long awaited business plan.

Twitter itself might not be attractive as an advertising site. But if its users are spending time on other, more commercially relevant websites, and logging into those sites with their Twitter identities, perhaps advertising via twitter becomes more appealing.

A launch date hasn’t been announced but initial participating sites will include Amazon, AdAge, Bing, Citysearch, Digg, eBay, The Huffington Post, Meebo, MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Salesforce.com, Yahoo!, and YouTube.


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