Chicago (IL) – Twitter, the microblogging service which allows users to post messages of up to 140 characters to update readers in real time, announced on Monday that it would begin entertaining a new concept for its business model. Twitter plans to allow other companies to sponsor their site. In addition, they are announcing fee-based Twitter accounts as well. Though the concept is nothing new on the web, it is new for Twitter.
Federated Media, a San Francisco online advertising agency, will create Web sites which showcase Twitter messages about particular concepts and topics. Companies will be able to sponsor those pages, for example, with the proceeds being shared between Twitter and Federated Media.
One of the first pages launched, ExecTweets, is sponsored by Microsoft and includes a multitude of business executives and their Tweets. AT&T sponsored MarchTweetness which updates the NCAA basketball tournament in real time.
Twitter plans to offer corporate users premium accounts, this concept is still in development but would give companies which use the service — such as Cisco, JetBlue, and Whole Foods — other perks which are not available to those utilizing the free version of Twitter.
Twitter has not yet made it known when the premium accounts will be launched, the pricing, or what features will be offered. But they have mentioned that they want to give companies a better method of connecting with their customers and monitoring customer feedback and consumer opinion.
With Facebook making changes to look more like Twitter, including an ability to now update in real time, it is necessary for Twitter to begin separating itself, testing methods of profiting as it formulates a business model. It has always been Twitter’s goal to refrain from forcing ads and tacky campaigns down the throats of users.
Currently it is not known whether or not Twitter will begin selling ads on its service, but some believe eventually it will. Analysts have said more than likely Twitter will start displaying ads in search results — similar to the way Google does currently.