Twitter is a media phenomenon but, as its predecessor in many ways Facebook has also found, the business of turning zillions of users into money is far from straightforward.
A site called Digital D has unearthed a Twitter memo indicating it hopes to earn $100m from ads this year (rather modest actually) but is worried about the impact on its users of so-called ‘sponsored tweets’ appearing on Twitter’s mainstream service.
The service is awash with tweets that have actually been paid for by advertisers without letting on (against Twitter’s rules and business interests of course). Even some A-list celebrities have succumbed to their lure.
There’s also the issue that many celebs (or people who like to see themselves as such) use the service for a relentless programme of self-advertisement, new CNN interviewer Piers Morgan and UK corporate pitbull Lord Sugar to name but two.
Twitter itself is reported to be flirting with offers from Facebook and Google rather than taking the potentially rocky road of an IPO.
It must be quite tempting for its owners just to take the money and let someone else worry about turning tweets into dollars.