I registered for @Kamichat as my Twitter account in early 2007 it never occurred to me that I should also register my real name too. Just yesterday I did what I should have done some time ago and registered KamiHuyse to protect my online identity.
I was very surprised when my account came preloaded with 20 people that I was supposedly “following.”
It made me wonder, has Twitter found a piece of its ultimate business model?
Some of the accounts are household names like 50 cent and Martha Stuart. Mixed in are companies like Whole Foods and Google, as well as more edgy people, like Perez Hilton. It also looks like Twitter's founder Biz Stone couldn't resist getting in on the action too, which reminded me of our “friend” Tom on MySpace.
Twitter is infinitely more useful and interesting when your Twitter stream is full of interesting people and content. Having some preloaded content holds some benefits for everyone.
- For new users it gives a place to start
- For those included it gives added credibility and follower numbers
- For Twitter it provides possible monitization and helps to retain new users
The big drawback is that the power of Twitter lies in the users ability to customize their Twitter stream. Then again, there is nothing saying you can't unfollow these folks – which was my first instinct
Many other networks use this model. For instance, when you get a MyYahoo page it comes preloaded with RSS feeds. This isn't a new concept and is less intrusive than most. It also isn't enough to pay for Twitter, but it is an interesting experiment.
On Twitter's about page, they say the following about finding a revenue model, “We are holding off on implementation for now because we don't want to distract ourselves from the more important work at hand….”
It seems that while they are still spending more money than they make, the research phase for a business model is also well under way.
Below are the 20 people that it was predetermined I would follow on my new Twitter page. What do you think of this list? How does this idea strike you as a revenue model? Do you think that paying for followers is a good business strategy?
You follow 20 people. Invite more!
Agent_M / Agent M
TerryMoran / Terry Moran
nprscottsimon / Scott Simon
alleyinsider / SiliconAlleyInsider
google / A Googler
pennjillette / Penn Jillette
tonyhawk / Tony Hawk
johncmayer / John Mayer
tonyrobbins / Tony Robbins
themoment / The Moment
perezhilton / Perez Hilton
WholeFoods / Whole Foods Market
MarthaStewart / Martha Stewart
jack / Jack Dorsey
defamer / Defamer
biz / Biz Stone
I truly discovered this list on my own, but it turns out I missed some of the buzz about this a few weeks ago. Of course, I am on maternity leave, so I should get a pass.