When Twitter came into existence around a decade ago, it offered something highly innovative at the time: a social network that lets users share short messages with a list of subscribers. The idea worked quite well and the new social networking site began attracting various types of users, including individuals that just want to stay in touch with their friends, businesses looking for a way to promote their products and services, mainstream and alternative news services working to share the latest with their audience and many others.
Twitter became a household name and the second most popular social networking service after Facebook. Its user base grew exponentially, with the latest figures showing that it has close to 317 million monthly active users. Despite its impressive growth, Twitter has always had trouble in one key area: making money. Since its launch in 2006, it has lost more than $2 billion and still isn’t profitable. As expected, investors aren’t too happy about the situation, which has given rise to speculation that the microblogging service may be sold in the near future.
However, some industry experts believe Twitter can avoid this and actually start turning a profit, if only it gets back the innovative spirit that put it in the spotlight in the first place. Several examples of this have been put forward. One idea involves changing the way users interact with those they follow by giving them an easy way to filter content based on what they find most interesting and relevant.
A more ambitious plan involves Twitter-enabled appliances. For example, an Internet-enabled fridge could send out messages to household members with images of the contents that remain or notify them if they’re low on a certain type of food item they use regularly. Further integration with home automation systems is also a possibility, which could be monetized by a monthly subscription instead of ads, thus providing Twitter with a regular stream of revenue.