When we speak publicly about how Twitter might become a profitable business, we talk about the idea of commercial usage and then explain that we’re still exploring what that means—that’s true. We also say traditional web banner advertising isn’t interesting to us which is also true. However, to say we are philosophically opposed to any and all advertising is incorrect.
For a long time, we’ve said that we think there are interesting opportunities related to commercial usage. Businesses and individuals are getting value out of Twitter and we may be able to enhance that. We’ve just begun exploring in this area—early ideas include account authentication, management tools, and discovery mechanisms. We’ll keep you posted.
The idea of taking money to run traditional banner ads on Twitter.com has always been low on our list of interesting ways to generate revenue. However, facilitating connections between businesses and individuals in meaningful and relevant ways is compelling. We’re going to leave the door open for exploration in this area.
Do we hate advertising? Of course not. It’s a huge industry filled with creativity and inspiration. There’s also room for new innovation in advertising, marketing, and public relations and Twitter is already part of that. In fact, next month I’ll be attending and speaking at the 56th annual international advertising festival, Cannes Lions 2009. I’ll let you know how it goes.