I am tired of hearing Twitter CEO Evan Williams give the same old song and dance about his company's revenue strategy.
"It's a valuable service," he says, "I don't think it's going to be hard to monetize." So what's the holdup? I worry about Twitter's business because I want to see the company and the product thrive.
Twitter's delay in implementing a revenue strategy makes me jittery. I would pay for it if I could. But at this point, I don't believe that the Team Twitter actually has a plan for making money from the site.
It's not like it is an inherently unmonetizable service. Here are some ways the service could generate a few bucks:
Like on Pownce.
Charge for premium consumer "bling" and services.
Sell access to themes, skins, file transfer features.
Charge Twitter authors for commercial-grade services.
Companies using Twitter as a part of their media strategy would pay for guaranteed uptime, capability to embed a Twitter feed, branding control, etc.
Allow only so many Tweets per day or total followers per account. Collect payment after that.
Sell enterprise-level services.
Create a version of Twitter for business (see Yammer, Presently, SocialCast). Include security features, logging, support, possibly an installable version, etc. This is the leading contender for a business model, according to Williams.
Allow Twitter authors to collect money from followers.
Take a cut of the revenues. Proposed by Narendra Rocherolle on TechCrunch.
Sell access to either the Twitter API or "firehose."
Keep it free up to a certain traffic level. Charge after that.
Sell data from Twitter use to big users and to advertising/marketing companies and/or hire out a Twitter analyst to companies that will pay for it.
Host Twitter-centric apps.
If companies want their app hosted at Twitter, they can pay for it.
Sell plush Fail Whales.
Grow the user base and sell the company, perhaps to Facebook. It worked for ICQ, which was scooped up by AOL in 1998.
What's your take? Chime in.