Twitter has been rolling out interesting new features in phases recently. A nifty little Retweet button in twitter web was something that the user’s had been asking for quite sometime.
It is another matter that twitter rolled it out in a way that has had its share of criticism.Â Twitter lists feature is a potential gold mine for making the best out of twitter. The “lists” go far beyond the Ego-booster as some see it , they offer a real value by primarily allowing users to take the noise out of the their public timeline. With you following people from a variety of niches, it is quite likely to miss out on some important information that comes through your timeline. So, what do you do? You create a set of lists and name them appropriately based on the niche.
The best way to understand the potential value of twitter lists can be understood from Scobleizer’s Why I don’t use google reader .
But then , another thing that takes the cake when it comes to Twitter is ,
“How will twitter make money?”
Yes, there is this licensing agreement with the search giants Microsoft and Google and a small widget based advertisement section on twitter web. But, with the venture capital flowing in, twitter needs to come up with better ways to make money, ain’t it.
I might be too naive to suggest monetization techniques but the latest little feature roll-out caught my imagination. Twitter recently enabled Geo-Tagging to further enhance the user experience. What this essentially means that every tweet of yours will have your location info embedded into it. It has been released only on twitter API’s so its sometime before we get to experience it on twitter web.
What could possibly be the advantage of geo-tagging from a monetization perspective ? Context based advertising-the advertisement model that accounts for Google’s billion dollar revenue. With twitter already loaded with a constant supply of real time news via tweets and the search deals cut out with Google and Bing , geotagging might just be what the doctor ordered.
Here is one hypothesis which might help put things into perspective,
Organic search engines are going to index Twitter Streams. Given the freshness of the tweets , it is highly likely that the tweets will occupy the top positions in the searches. Now, with geo tagging in place, this completes the pre-requisites for serving the most relevant contextual ads that there can be.
Now twitter does not have ads right now but then who knows what lies in store.Â Geotagging might just be there answer for a possible monetization model.
Moreover, since the API’s have it available it provides all the more benefits for developers making twitter based products. The developers themselves could find a way to leverage the geotagging feature in one way or the other and make some money out of it.
There might be more to the geotagging feature then the hypothesis that I have put together. Only time will tell how twitter and third party apps based on twitter utilize the geotagging feature.
What are your thoughts on the Geotagging feature. Is it a step towards a possible contextual advertisement model or there are some other aspects too ?
PS:: For developers who are already making products using twitter API’s , is there a way you could cash onto the geotagging feature ? I would love to know your thoughts on the possible impact of geotagging for twitter based apps