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Twitter's ascent as a social media powerhouse continues unabated.
The next step in its rise: monetization. Twitter has to make money at some point, it has critical mass, there's no shortage of monetization concepts floating around and Twitter management has all but admitted that 2009 is the Year of Revenue.
Yahoo relaunched its mobile offering last week, which brings together Yahoo search with some of its other properties, allowing users to access search, news, email, RSS feeds and social networking from one mobile hub.
As part of the mobile site relaunch, Yahoo created an iPhone app, so I've been seeing how it shapes up...
Say Google buys Twitter. It was always something that made sense, and now it's gone from "what if" to rumor to late stage negotiations in less than a day. Let's assume it happens and take a peek into what it means for marketers.
Search: Twitter will not become Googleized. With its YouTube acquisition Google showed itself to be a good integrator of other companies. However, it makes sense that Google will clean up the Twitter interface to be more friendly to contextual ads, people search, and keyword search. Twitter will also become more trackable on its own, as well as within Google. And marketers will be intrigued at the possibilities just at the time that search was topping out.
Management Today editor Matthew Gwyther is the latest print media veteran to stick the boot into Twitter, labelling it “a tedious fad we would do well to pull the plug on”.
He lambasts the “news editors at the national newspapers” for wading into Twitter without adequate resources “to do it properly”, while accusing them of being “desperate to keep up with the Joneses”.
“The result is an unwholesome mess - a garbled Babel of nonsense that leaves you screaming for a return to the times when we could read all about it the day afterwards over our Cornflakes on a page of newsprint.”
Word to Matthew: you can read it afterwards! You don't have to tune in to Twitter! It will all become clear the next day.
But there’s a place for Twitter – and a place for real time reporting too...
Digg, the popular content sharing website that lets users 'vote' for their favorite content on the web, is a favorite of online publishers. Get Digged enough and you might hit the Digg homepage, which can drive tens of thousands of visitors in short order.
Currently, there are two ways to Digg content: on the Digg website or through a button that publishers place on their web pages.
Social media has given brands a new medium in which consumers can be engaged. Most agree: there's something really important about this, even if we disagree on just what that is.
At the same time, social media has given consumers a powerful new tool for interacting with brands. It's now possible to provide feedback, issue praise and voice complaints in a manner that can have a real impact very quickly.
The UK online customer service (OCS) market is expected to grow by up to 20% this year, according to a new Econsultancy report which highlights the fact that businesses are starting to wise up to the importance of investing in the provision of proper service and support online.
It may be a tough time to raise money if you're a young startup but that doesn't mean that funding isn't out there.
Bit.ly, the rockstar URL shortening service that we've profiled on the Econsultancy blog before, proves that; it just managed to raise $2mn from private investors.
Twitter's growing mainstream popularity is a hot topic. It's why those of us in the tech and digital marketing worlds can't seem to go a day without reading news headlines about the microblogging service that has fascinated us all.
But Twitter isn't perfect; there is a dark side.
Just like J. Lo said, love don't cost a thing. While the world has shown the love for Twitter, and it hasn't cost a thing, the day of revenue reckoning is upon it. Twitter executives say that it will soon offer paid-for “commercial” accounts to give businesses additional features unavailable to casual Tweeters.
This will not set up a toll gate for the six million people currently using the site. Nor will it stop small businesses from having a Tweeter handle. But it does give some clues as to how Tweeter will be used as a marketing platform and how it will make money. There's a lot to like about this strategy. Among them:
Now you can Tweet your way to cheaper groceries. Coupons.com has inked a deal with Twitter through which followers of Coupons.com will automatically receive new coupon offers as they become available. The tweets will include links to the printable coupons for quick printing.
Coupons.com launched a Facebook application earlier this year, after acquiring mobile grocery shopping application Grocery iQ to integrate digital coupons into the shopping experience. It currently has 657 Facebook friends and is the leading coupon app. Grocery iQ is available on the iPhone and will be included on Google's Android handsets this summer.
One of the great paradoxes of the internet is that the more information we have, the more myopic we get. This myopia is a dangerous thing. We have brilliant political thinkers and economists blogging every day, yet most people get their news from biased factoids. And from a strictly democratic economic standpoint, businesses need options. But as a business, we're in the middle of a myopia that borders on blindness.
The subject is of course, Twitter, Facebook, and Google. May the internet Gods continue to bless all three. Irrational exuberance surrounds all of them right now. But when they have to live up to those expectations of consistent triple-digit quarterly growth, and they have to face competition, and they have to struggle with advocacy groups that want to brand themselves at their expense, these three will change. Yet, they dominate press coverage and conference events and people speak of them as if they are immune to bad breaks or random events. They're not.