Facebook vs Twitter series 12/800: Twitter is down from FB hunting?
July 18, 2009 1 Comment
Sitting inside a conference room at Twitter, BlackBerry in hand, Kevin Thau is all business.In his first interview since taking charge of the San Francisco technology companys mobile business development a month ago, Thau is confident that cellphones will play a crucial role in helping the messaging service make money.
The four-year-old company, which has raised more than $35 million from Benchmark Capital, Spark Capital and others, offers its service free of charge, and hasn’t yet figured out how to generate revenues.
Thau, 36, says thats about to change. He says the number of text messages passing through Twitters platform has grown 1,000% in the last year. Add to that the fact that users are texting more substantive observations and opinions in real time, and the company has a valuable information database it can sell to businesses.
Thau says Twitter is developing a range of analytics and metrics products and services built around the information contained in “tweets,” the e-mail and text messages that pass through its platform. “We can measure the tweets,” he says. “Were trying to figure out what are the appropriate metrics around engagement and how to convey those.”
Thau, however, didnt say when Twitter plans to sell these services or how much it will charge for them.
Its an interesting business model, but can Twitter survive selling analytics and other services? “When it comes to enterprises, absolutely,” says Jeremiah Owyang, a social computing analyst with Forrester Research ($FORR ) . “I just got off a call with a client thats asking about how to engage on Twitter. There’s definitely interest.”