A Twitter investor spoke out about how the micro-blogging service could potentially earn its revenue, a problem which has been the subject of debate for some time now. Joi Ito believes charging through mobile usage could be the business’s savior.
“When Twitter grows, SMS [text message] usage goes up,” said Joi Ito, a Twitter investor who has previously invested in a number of successful internet companies including the photo-sharing site Flickr and the music community site Last.fm. “Sites are now able to promote across friends’ [Twitter] networks; traffic to certain kinds of sites increases. There’s a lot of things Twitter enables. And as a normal internet company would do, we’d look at who’s benefiting the most in this value chain, and where is there the least friction [for Twitter] to get paid.”
[I]n an exclusive interview, Ito told Guardian Technology that Twitter has already achieved the most important step for any internet company by getting tens of millions of users. “I will say that mobile is globally one of the areas that has significant growth in revenue for a lot of [industry] players… I think mobile will be an important part of the strategy.”
I’m not sure how many Twitter users tweet via mobile but this is a start. However, it is definitely insufficient. The problem still hovers around the idea of how the business can make money from the web and/or corporate/institutional users, whether it be through ads or some form of special tweet service.