Twitter’s amazing market research tool

[NOTE: I do not endorse this company, nor do I know much about it or care to be part of it.]

A friend recently asked me about some company called Shop to Earn. Right off the bat, I didn’t like the name. It sounded like either a really lame business venture or a scam, but I didn’t know anything about it, so I started asking him what he knew. Apparently, he had been approached about starting his own business through them and wanted to know what I thought since he considers me to be pretty web savvy.

to see if anyone had ever heard of it and then went searching for answers on Google, but when I didn’t find anything conclusive, where did I turn? Search.twitter .

There was an there, and just like on Google, I had to sift through a lot of irrelevant info, but this got me thinking about two things. Most twitterers and some marketers are already aware that the market research capabilities of Twitter are just amazing. I mean, what service is better set up to gather the simplest thoughts people have about your company or product? Name one. I dare you.

Now, knowing as we all do that Twitter has yet to turn a profit (or earn any money if I recall correctly), why is it that they have not just closed off Twitter search and turned it into a pay service for marketers and companies concerned with their social media presence?

Okay, Twitter, here’s your business plan… Continue to let people use real-time searches like Tweetdeck search, Tweetgrid, Twitterfall, etc, but charge people for historical tweets and just make it clear in the TOS that no one else is allowed to sell the historical data. How’s that?

Does anyone think that would work? I mean, Twitter is an amazing tool, and the fact that (from the outside) they have no apparent business model is just baffling.

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  • http://FlowingDesert.com Stephen Andert

    Your comments remind me of many people I heard when talking about Google a few years ago. “If they are not charging anything, how will they stay in business?” I guess Google figured it out, they have not charged me anything yet and I have been using GMail, PicasaWeb (and Picasa) as well as several other services for quite some time.

    I would be surprised if there is not a reasonably solid plan in place at Twitter HQ, especially with the recent additional VC they recently received. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Good point, Stephen. I would say though that Google didn't have to charge everyone… only certain people, just as I think Twitter should. There's no need for Twitter to charge the users since the users are providing a wealth of market research information. Instead, they can (somewhat like Google) get themselves cash flow positive by selling that info that is potentially highly valuable… Eh, who knows. As you said, I'm sure there is some plan.

    Thanks, Stephen :-)

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Good point, Stephen. I would say though that Google didn't have to charge everyone… only certain people, just as I think Twitter should. There's no need for Twitter to charge the users since the users are providing a wealth of market research information. Instead, they can (somewhat like Google) get themselves cash flow positive by selling that info that is potentially highly valuable… Eh, who knows. As you said, I'm sure there is some plan.

    Thanks, Stephen :-)

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