Twitter faces life in the real world over greedy celeb tweets, kowtowing to US government

What could be more innocent than Twitter, a way for people to let off steam/communicate with their pals/keep the rest of us amused or unamused?

But the mainstream media is catching up with the way celebs are shamelessly promoting their sponsors’ wares (much of which you read about here first of course) with the Daily Mail suggesting that the UK’s Office of Fair Trading is going to investigate the opinions of Liz Hurley (Estee Lauder), Peter Andre (Costa) and numerous people even we’ve never heard of on behalf of Land Rover.

Plus the texting website is under fire for co-operating with the US authorities who are hell-bent on trying to punish anyone associated with Wikileaks, from head honcho Julian Assange downwards.

Twitter should have told them, politely, to get lost but you get the clear impression that this is all a big surprise to Twitter’s owners and they don’t know what to do.

At the same time pundits are saying the social network (because that’s what the money men want it to be anyway) is worth a minimum of $5bn. This is still way short of Facebook’s supposed worth of $50bn but shows how high the stakes are.

Even Linked In is supposed to be talking to its financial advisers about cashing in on a supposed valuation of $2bn.

Actually Twitter will probably be worth rather more than $5bn. But it needs to be able to operate in the real world first, which means, among other things, dealing with those two nasty elements of that world, greedy celebs and a horribly illiberal US government.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.