Twitter is right, one of its great advantages at the moment is its ubiquity and lovely harmony with mobile. My gut tells me though, that if it starts putting spammy ads into the flow, more so than what it’s doing now, twitter will be dinged by consumers. And I’m a guy with a house paid for by ads. I believe Twitter will create its greatest value by being in the data business. Why? Because words matter. The words we use in our twitter feeds, more than pictures, videos and song are what deeply define us. People who use the word “should” a lot are bossy. Users of the word “hate” tend toward intolerance. Even those , for instance, who hate Oreos.
What Twitter knows is words. And if they sell those words, translated into customer insights, they will sell at a premium. I’m not talking about buying keywords here – I’m talking customer profile and customer insight stuff. Think Nielsen.
As the data world abounds and we figure out privacy issues (invest in those companies) we will land on some important positive applications, e.g., electronic medical records. Once we crest that wave and look past advertising in the stream, we’ll see that the data Twitter can provide will provide weighty real-time and long-time selling insights worth billions. Peace-ful.