So what do we think, Tweeters – would we like to get a fraction of a penny for each Tweet? According to Ad Age, it can be done in three easy steps.
Site is skeptical. Volume is the name of the game in online advertising – advertisers have to kiss a lot of toads (put forth many, many images) to find a prince (get a click), even when the audience is well targeted.
Although some Tweeters have impressive follower volume, we’ve yet to see numbers that would mean anything to an advertiser, most of whom need to present an ad to several hundred thousand unique visitors a month before they see any real ROI from an advertising investment. Keyword: uniques.
Sure, our Twitter followers are highly targeted, presuming they self organize into networks of shared interests, but their networks are also relatively static. We’ve yet to see any single member of a social network – not My Space, not Facebook – see hundreds of thousands of brand new unique visitors to their page every month.
The result thus far has been that all that fantastic technology that can scan content and determine what product and service categories will interest the followers of one specific Tweeter or the visitors to a single Facebook page, usually identify one or two. This explains why when we log into Facebook and visit our friend’s pages, we see the same stale ads again and again.
Site thinks the content + ad model for monetizing web properties works quite well for many, but not for all and especially not for social networks. Facebook has yet to monetize profitably, let alone find a path to sustainable revenue growth. Famous for giving away the store to Facebook app developers who do see hundreds of thousands of unique visits per month, Site predicts Facebook will soon discover this is the only real revenue stream on the property. Watch for Facebook to start taking a bigger slice of the pie from application ad revenue.
Especially in today’s economy the path to revenue for online ventures needs to be much, much shorter. Investors don’t have five or six years to wait around for Amazon to get profitable anymore. Site is keeping it’s eyes and ears open for social networks that skip the ad model and aim for immediate revenue sources – direct commercial relationships with their users in the form of subscription fees.