Twitter is Thinking About Commerce

Chris CrumBusiness

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It appears that Twitter has some new money-making ideas in mind for the future. This is hardly surprising, given that its monetization strategies have been heavily questioned for years now. The company has been much more advertising focused in recent months, but according to a Fortune/CNN account of a keynote delivered by CEO Dick Costolo, there might be some commerce opportunities for the company as well. Dan Primack reports:

During a keynote interview at Fortune BrainstormTech in Aspen, Costolo was pressed about his company's business model. After discussing its various advertising options -- including its plans to eventually offer self-serve ads -- he mentioned how conference organizers and sports teams had used Twitter to find buyers for unsold inventory. For example, the San Diego Chargers were able to quickly sell around 1,000 tickets to a game that otherwise would have been blacked out on local television. Twitter itself didn't make any money on those transactions, but may look to do so in the future.

"There's a commerce opportunity there for us to take advantage of if we want," Costolo said. "How can we remove friction from the process?"

Apple recently revealed that there will be heavy Twitter integration in iOS 5 - the next version of its operating system for the iPhone and iPad. That means Twitter may be the go-to ID people for a lot of users throughout iPhone/iPad apps. This could eventually extend into payments. Consider that Jack Dorsey, who runs Square is back running product at Twitter. This is merely speculation, but interesting to consider, particularly if Twitter is looking for commerce-related monetization opportunities.

Of course Google just got a major boost to its ID system with the launch of Google+, which is quickly growing, and just became available for the iPhone. Google+ is already cutting into some people's Twitter time, and many already have a Google ID via other products such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, etc. Twitter may have its work cut out for it in this department, particularly as Google expands its offerings like Google Wallet and Google Offers. And let's not forget Facebook.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.