Twitter’s future.

April 9, 2009

One of the guys I follow on Twitter (sorry forget who) tweeted this article on The Washington Post‘s site re the launch of Twitterpartners.

The service, which launched this week, has 12 ad agency partners already including Unamis and Salesforce and says it is “building a suite of apps, tools and services to help brands, media companies, and celebrities harness the power of the Twitter ecosystem.”

I believe that this is the first, serious, coordinated attempt by existing advertising and media companies to define a structure which uses Twitter as a marketing message delivery vehicle.

The end of the beginning?

I believe that Twitter, and most of the social networking sites haven’t found their stride yet. It’s all well and good having gabillions of users but to generate revenue you have to be able to do something with them. For me that’s always been the fuzzy part of the social networking business model. If you build it, they will come but how do you make money when they do?

So, does the advent of this company mark the end of the beginning of Twitter. Will Twitterpartners model to use Twitter be the step that takes it from noise and chaos and introduces structure which allows it to blossom as a one to may broadcaster?

The beginning of the end?

Or is this the end of Twitter as we know it? Will the imposition of a structred, reproducable response to using Twitter as a marketing channel cause it’s demise?

A double edged sword

People want to communicate, they want to discover and learn. Social networking is a fantastic vehicle for collaboration, learning and making relationships. I don’t think that commercialiasation of the space is a bad thing, in fact I think it should be welcomed and encouraged. I think Twitter needs some more coherency and large organizations using it will help define and foster that coherency.

We don’t need another billboard

Having said that we don’t need another billboard. There are plenty and the the drop in ad placemenets and rates may be indication a saturation point in that particular vehicle.

The penetration of larger organizations, purposefully using Twitter for engaging and building relationships with customers, will only make a great form of communication more useful. However if those larger organizations treat Twitter like another billboard we’ll have to start another one, and keep starting them until the message gets through. We don’t like being talked at, we like talking with you.

The end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? I don’t know yet but I’m interested to see how it turns out. How about you?