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After years of speculation and jokes about Twitter’s lack of a business model, the microblogging service finally started rolling out advertising products earlier this year. Today, the company’s vice president of engineering Michael Abbott said that even as Twitter continues its ad efforts, it’s moving very carefully.
Abbott was speaking at the Stanford Accel Symposium held on the university’s campus and organized by venture-capital firm Accel Partners. He noted that Twitter has launched Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends. And the company plans to move forward with advertising (presumably by bringing on more advertisers and unveiling new ad products), but it will be doing so “carefully” –perhaps to the “chagrin” of advertisers and other partners — to ensure that the user experience isn’t harmed.
“Our monetization strategy needs to be deeply intertwined with the user experience,” Abbott said.
His remarks echoed what chief executive Dick Costolo said in September (back when he was still Twitter’s chief operating officer) — that Twitter has “cracked the code” on advertising, and that a key part of the strategy is to make sure that Twitter’s advertising content starts out as organic Twitter content.
Accel partner Rich Wong, who was moderating the panel, started out by reminding attendees that even though people have asked questions about whether Twitter can make money, they were similarly skeptical about Facebook’s opportunity four years ago. And hey, Facebook’s revenue’s reportedly reached $800 million last year (CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is still running at “around” break-even).
[photo: Dean Takahashi]
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