Twitter is the current "big thing" amongst the tech cogniscenti - "everyone" has an account and is busily telling everyone what they're doing right now. Conspicuously missing from all this: an actual business plan to generates money:
Twitter was launched a year ago by Obvious Corp., a San Francisco start-up formerly known as Odeo Inc. that also runs a podcasting service. Twitter now hosts more than 30,000 posts a day and has more than 50,000 users, according to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. The service is appealing because of its simplicity, said the 30-year old, who formerly worked as a software engineer at a courier-dispatch service. "You find a lot of connection in just the simplest, most mundane updates from your friends," he said. Twitter doesn't charge users for the service, though he said it may charge for additional features in the future.
You have to love that last bit - it's an admission that right now they are simply spending money in the hopes that revenue will arrive someday, from somewhere. I doubt that advertising will be the answer; if you get updates on your phone, you'll never see them. Mind you, someone is making money on this - cell phone companies:
After joining Dodgeball [a similar service], Minneapolis Web developer Jenni Ripley, 33, upgraded her text-messaging plan with her wireless carrier when she exceeded her previous monthly quota of 1,000 messages.
I used to ask where the revenue model for YouTube was (turns out it was "get bought") - and I may yet be right - if Viacom wins their suit, you can expect the floodgates of litigation to open. That (a lawsuit) won't happen to Twitter, but I expect that the "search for revenue" will continue. On the other hand, if that text message usage is common, maybe Verizon or AT&T will pick them up.
Meanwhile, Obvious Corp's other service, Odeo, continues to be broken - which is apparently ok, since the entire company is busy sending Twitter messages to itself all day.