And it’s not because Twitter is buying tons of Dell gear; Dell is using Twitter for advertising, and people are willingly signing up to receive these messages. Quoting InternetNews:
Less altruistically, some businesses have discovered that Twitter is an effective way of communicating with consumers. Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) says Twitter has produced $1 million in revenue over the past year and a half through sale alerts. People who sign up to follow Dell on Twitter receive messages when discounted products are available the company’s Home Outlet Store. They can click over to purchase the product or forward the information to others.
Dell started experimenting with Twitter in March of 2007 after the South by Southwest conference, an annual tech/music festival in Austin, Texas. Conference attendees could keep tabs on each other via a stream of Twitter messages on 60-inch plasma screens set up in the conference hallways. There are now 65 Twitter groups on Dell.com, with 2,475 followers for the Dell Home Outlet Store.
Here’s the link to their Twitter index. I find it amazing that anyone would sign up to receive spam, but this does show that Twitter offers opportunities for companies to generate some revenue. Other companies are already following both Twitter and other microbloging services to gather feedback; but neither of these uses actually generate money for Twitter itself.
I suspect the Twitter team is working on some cool new features; there have been no major updates for months, and the only visible changes are improved reliability and the removal of useful features. They’ve been talking about a business model for months, so I’m curious what they will come up with. I hope it’s something better than my favorite South Park episode…