Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Video Interview with Twitter Co-Founder

Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter, recently appeared on the Charlie Rose show. Williams created Blogger and other online tools before creating Twitter. He's not the world's best interviewee. But this 22-minute video is an interesting look at the history and future of Twitter.

The most interesting part of the interview to me is toward the end--the question of how Twitter will eventually make money. Reportedly, Twitter has raised $55 million from investors, but has yet to make a dime. Twitter is known as a social community. Become involved in Twitter, and you quickly see how much users hate the old interruption marketing model being shoved into it by some "clueless" users. And the addition of ads--which is how Facebook is making money--would certainly be interruption marketing. Another possibility is to charge for usage. Or perhaps to charge for accounts that want to opt out of interruptive ads. Williams doesn't mention that last option in this video, but I'll bet it's been discussed as one viable method to monetize. Williams says he doesn't yet know what they'll do. They'll likely try certain things and see if they fly. Users have a lot of clout these days, as witnessed by the Facebook backpedaling on its new terms of use after it users raised a hue and cry. But clearly Williams and the investors see a huge potential in Twitter's ability to make money. They've already rebuffed a substantial offer to be bought by Facebook.

I continue to watch the evolution of Twitter and Facebook because I'm using both of these social media to reach out to new and existing readers of my books. And I'm finding them very effective. In time we'll talk more about that here.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I was wondering how they made their money, to tell you the truth.

I use both Twitter and FaceBook and love them.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Blinky St. James said...

I'll take those ads--I hope they don't start charging to use Twitter! I'd have to stop using it. And that wouldn't be fun at all!

Marcus Goodyear said...

I'd love to hear more details about what you mean by "I'm finding them very effective." What are you specifically trying to accomplish with those two tools, and how are you progressing toward the goal?

THANKS especially for the link to Charlie Rose. I need to watch that.