The New York Times ran a piece on Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and how the start up had changed during his tenure. The company has begun to focus on the majority of the hundred million plus consumers that were now using the service rather than the early adopters who helped it grow. That’s totally understandable for a major start-up which is growing faster than it can cope. Yet there was one interesting paragraph in the whole piece that really caught my eye:
When people share messages about a movie, for instance, Twitter now embeds a video that can be watched directly within their Twitter stream. Eventually, Mr. Bain says, you could perform transactions inside those envelopes, too, like buying a ticket to a movie that someone just tweeted about.
It’s hard to believe that the tiny start-up, that only a few short years ago never existed, could have such a potential impact on our economy. We have seen start-ups try to shake up the financial industry before. Facebook has long been a place where marketers can reward customers with coupons and prizes and the Facebook credits were an economy unto themselves. What we are going to see is marketers using Twitter to help promote their wares as well as Facebook. Twitter is now a great place for brands to interact with customers, act as a support desk as well as an information and public relations officer, yet there has been little chance for brands to monetize within Twitter itself. If Twitter releases APIs that allow brands to easily tap into the tweets (i.e tweeting that you have just bought a great dress from Target would then take you to the Target website) then Twitter will be the next major front in the war for potential customers.