Everyone loves talking about Twitter’s business model — because there isn’t one yet, and they’ll keep talking about it until there is one. But it’s becoming more clear that while a business model is of course important, Twitter is perhaps the perfect example of a company that can afford to take its time in finding the one that is perfect for it. That’s because other businesses are building so much on top of the micro-messaging service and using it for their own services. If worst came to worst, and Twitter had to sell, there would probably be a bidding war of a magnitude that would make it seem like this country wasn’t in the midst of a recession.
InternetNews has a good rundown of the Twitter/business phenomenon. Buried in it is this gem:
Less altruistically, some businesses have discovered that Twitter is an effective way of communicating with consumers. Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) says Twitter has produced $1 million in revenue over the past year and a half through sale alerts. People who sign up to follow Dell on Twitter receive messages when discounted products are available the company’s Home Outlet Store. They can click over to purchase the product or forward the information to others.
If Twitter has made Dell $1 million in revenue, imagine how much it’s making for all of the companies it helps promote. While a million dollars may not be much to a company like Dell, for some smaller companies that are also using Twitter as a sales/promotional tool, it is no doubt invaluable.
Twitter is expected to lay out its plan for how to monetize the service in 2009. It may involve creating premium, corporate accounts, which seems like a good idea given the numbers Dell is stating. But while everyone is busy getting in a tizzy over its business model, Twitter continues to gain popularity, including the all-important mainstream variety.
One way or another, Twitter will be fine — even if that still doesn’t make sense to some people.
You can find me on Twitter here along with fellow VentureBeat writers Eric Eldon, Dean Takahashi, Anthony Ha, Chris Morrison and Dan Kaplan. Oh, and we have a VentureBeat account (for our posts) as well.
[via Fred Wilson, who is a Twitter investor]
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition:
Chime in here, and we’ll share the results