Twitter 101: Does CoTweet point the way to Twitter's business model?

Twitter watchers are already poring over Twitter 101, the company’s guide for businesses who want to use the microblogging service. Twitter has hinted that it sees the site, and the bigger vision of serving businesses, as a major part of its revenue model, so I, at least, had hoped to find more hints about that model on Twitter 101. But for the most part, the site feels extremely simple (at least to a reader who’s even half-familiar with the service). So, perhaps more interesting than what’s on the site is what’s missing: Any mention of third-party applications like CoTweet, which businesses might use to manage their Twitter experience. (There are, of course, many other third-party Twitter apps, but I’m focusing on CoTweet since it’s possibly the most business-oriented.)

Now there’s a chance that this doesn’t mean anything, or that Twitter didn’t want to muddy this simple how-to guide by bringing other services into the picture, or even that it will add third parties later. But the absence of such third-party apps feels conspicuous, given Twitter’s generosity in promoting other applications on its main site, like through the free ads it has been running. Some of the most prominent business users, such as Whole Foods and Starbucks, use CoTweet (whose features include managing multiple accounts, monitoring keywords and trends, geting email notifications timed to when you are “on duty,” and creating conversation thread)  to manage their Twitter interactions. Yet those companies, as well as CoTweet itself, apparently aren’t worth a single mention in the site’s numerous case studies and the “other resources” section — the latter can basically be boiled down to: “Read The Twitter Book! Read Mashable!”

So beyond adding “verified accounts” for businesses (which were previously mentioned), I can’t help but wonder if CoTweet offers a preview of the other kinds of services Twitter wants to build. Twitter may be developing those tools in-house, or it may be moving forward with that CoTweet acquisition mentioned in the Twittergate documents. Regardless, I’m sure we’ll be seeing some additions to the new business.twitter.com domain soon enough….


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