What if I tweet: “Looking for a good lunch spot in Portland…suggestions?” And in my mentions tab Twitter promotes a lunch deal from P.F. Chang’s which happens to be two blocks from me?
We all know these tweets where people do quick polls or ask for help on Twitter. I think putting targeted ads into your stream of replies could work. However, this sounds like something Google would do. The question is whether Twitter knows us well enough to be helpful in the long run (which affects ad price).
So that was my thought, then I realized: I bet Twitter could make more money by charging companies a fee and in return Twitter would serve up a site with all the chatter surrounding that company — which then the company could directly respond to. Now that seems like a killer feature.
I wholeheartedly agree, it would be killer. It's nicely asymmetrical in that it is completely transparent to the end user instead of changing the experience (like promoted tweets). Plus, it hands companies the control they crave in the digital world. That's something you certainly can make money with.
Great idea, Ben!