Let’s assume that there are 20,000 people on Twitter who have added Starbucks as a Friend in order to get a few promotions a week - e.g. a free cookie with your coffee, a free tall coffee, etc. If Twitter charged Starbucks a few cents per tweet per follower, the revenue from Starbucks might looks something like this:
10 tweets (promotions) per week
$.05 cents per tweet for each follower (maybe more???)
that’s $10 K per week or about $40K per month
I have no idea whether they are thinking along those lines, but they should be.
Update: This needs to come up from the comments to this post:
For example, what if Starbucks put up signs in their shops: "give us your mobile number if you want to receive text alerts of our newest specials"? Suddenly, they can reach most of the same people without the middleman's markup. I think the people behind Twitter have not really thought about just how far disintermediation has gone already, or how far it is likely to go in the future.
So it's back to my first thought - the Twitter business model is "get bought".
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