Twitter, the free micro-blogging or online message board service, is reportedly getting ready to bring paid advertising into its business model.
Or perhaps it's better to say that Twitter is finally developing a business model built around paid advertising.
The advertising will work in similar fashion to Google's (News - Alert) model, where ads are displayed in with search results. Twitter also plans to deliver adverts to users' eyes in news feeds - however that initiative will come at a later time.
The program will be called Promoted Tweets. Advertisers will have the opportunity to position 140 character ads at the top of relevant searches. This way an advertiser's Tweets will be prominently displayed -- and won't get "lost" in all the other posts about the brand or the company.
Companies including Starbucks, Best Buy and Virgin America are reportedly already on board with the new program, which is Twitter's first major effort to monetize its service.
Some analysts however, feel that Twitter is too late: Rumors have been circulating for months that the number of Twitter users is declining, due in part to the proliferation and preponderance of similar micro blogging and message board sites, not to mention overall waning interest in the whole micro blogging phenomenon.
Regardless, Twitter has built an impressive online presence and still boasts tens of millions of users - not likely that the company is going to give up on innovating just yet, so it will be interesting to what it comes up with once the revenue streams are established.
Earlier this week TMCnet reported that Twitter had acquired Atebits, maker of the Tweetie apps that enable users to access Twitter via the iPhone (News - Alert). The acquisition price was not disclosed.
Twitter also announced recently that it helped Research In Motion build an official Twitter app for BlackBerrys.
Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard