Twitter is reportedly looking into some new types of advertising. The Financial Times cites “people with direct knowledge of its plans” as saying that Twitter is looking at some bold new options.
One option would be injecting Promoted Tweets into the user’s main timeline. While plenty of people would no doubt freak out about this (not unlike the whole “dickbar” fiasco), I can’t say it would affect me much, as my Twitter use rarely relies on the main timeline, but through the use of lists. I’m sure I’m hardly alone in this, though the main timeline is certainly going to be the main access point for the majority of new users – a number which Twitter has been aggressively trying to bolster.
While it is the possibility of Twitter adding promoted tweets to the main timeline that is the focal point of the FT article, another bit caught my attention more:
Other commercial options under discussion include deals and offers similar in style to rival Groupon, which aggregates consumer demand for time-limited specific offers. It is also looking at introducing enhanced profile pages for brands and media management tools, which could allow advertisers to pre-schedule 140-character posts.
Ok, even more specifically, that part about a deals service that would rival Groupon. Why not? Everyone else is doing it. It would only make sense that Twitter, which is struggling in the revenue department compared to its peers, and has its location-sharing feature in Twitter Places that could help aid such an endeavor. It also has users’ email addresses, which is generally the primary way deals services reach consumers.
If Twitter wants to play with the big boys (like Facebook and Google), and it should, as it is set to become the main identity point for a lot of iPhone and iPad users with the pending release of Apple’s iOS 5, it almost has to get into the Deals space. The fact that co-founder Jack Dorsey also runs Square, should also help in cultivating relationships with merchants.
It’s worth noting that this wouldn’t be the first endeavor into daily deals for Twitter. You may recall the short-lived @earlybird thing, but under new direction from Dorsey, things may be different now.