A View from Erica Naone

Twitter's Late-Blooming Business Model: @Earlybird

The scheme is a clever evolution of sponsored tweets.

  • July 7, 2010

Twitter was late to the game in developing its first business model, but has now come up with another one. The company is hoping that its new @earlybird account will generate revenue while helping its users find deals. Announced yesterday, @earlybird is a Twitter account that will repost time-sensitive Twitter-exclusive deals from selected advertisers’ Twitter accounts.

Advertisers pay Twitter for posts to @earlybird, but the company says it plans to be selective about which posts it will choose to accept. Users interested in receiving the deals can choose to follow the account, and people will only see the ads in their timelines if they follow @earlybird, or if a friend retweets a message from that account.

Just 18 hours after the tweet announcing its existence, @earlybird already had more than 13,000 followers. It’s a clever move and true to Twitter’s ideals for the company to focus on showing advertisements to those who volunteer to receive them.

Twitter says it’s currently investigating similar, targeted accounts, such as ones that offer location-based deals or deals within certain areas of interest such as music.

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