Back in early 2008, I participated in a Social Media Breakfast in Boston about Twitter. Actually, the title was half tongue-in-cheek, half serious: “How Twitter Changed My Life.”
One of the questions the audience asked me and my fellow panel members (Laura Fitton, Scott Monty and Jim Storer), was “Would you pay for Twitter?” I have no idea what I answered. I probably said yes, suck-up that I am.
But would we pay? Many more people are on Twitter nearly three years later, brands see it as an important part of their communications outreach and people like me see it as an important link to those of us in our profession, colleagues and past, present and future employers (relax, I’m not looking).
Would we pay? Has anyone really asked or answered that question under any real threat that we would actually have to pay a cent for the service? We have let other services dwindle into relevance or death before, and we’ll do it again. Utterz, soon to be re-christened Utterli, was big at that Breakfast, and much of it was documented through that wonderful service. What happened to that? Here’s what happened- just check out the videos from this blog post: http://techprgems.com/2008/02/social-media-breakfast-presentations-how-twitter-changed-my-life/. Get my drift? Don’t want to pay? Then dust… to dust.
So now, we are seeing more incursion of ads (more to the point, paid placements) in Twitter. The horror! Twitter wants to make money! Well, I guess if you glean no value from Twitter you can write off their avarice as evil. You can, as my friend Aaron Stout says in the first link, look at sunny skies and expect appropriate targeting of said paid placements.
You can also keep on using the tool, free to answer questions like “would you pay for Twitter” without any worry about having to back up your answer.
For the record, I pay for Flickr (photos) and Vimeo (video) accounts, not to mention blog hosting and domain registration. As for Twitter? Bring on the sponsored Tweets! Make them relevant– does anyone complain about search engine ads? Really? Facebook ads (aside from the howlingly inappropriate targeting that sometimes occurs)? Really?
Ads are coming. Enjoy!