The 10th MOST VISITED Website On The Internet Doesn't Make Money?!

51 replies
OK, so maybe this is old news or something that has been talked about already... But Twitter is now the 10th MOST VISITED website on the internet... And it doesn't seem like they are monetizing their site at all.

There are NO ads, NO PPC advertising like Facebook, zilch.

Can you imagine having the 10th most visited website in the world and not knowing how to make money from it??? Am I the idiot here and missing something?

And on top of it... I can only imagine how much money they spend on bandwidth for all the traffic they receive and they also must pay mobile companies for SMS.

Seems to me like Twitter MEMBERS are making money from Twitter, but not Twitter themselves.

What gives?

[ADDITION]: There is a large fundamental difference between SELLING a website and MONETIZING a website.

SELLING Twitter for billions of dollars is NOT monetizing the site... It's selling it to someone else.

If someone bought Twitter for billions of dollars... They would find themselves with a website that is NOT monetized. Catch my drift?
#10th #internet #make #money #visited #website
  • Profile picture of the author scott g
    You know I never thought about that?! I found this article interesting... Basically they ARE NOT making any money and have not been for the past 3-years! Incredible!

    How Does Twitter Make Money? | Weakonomi¬Ęs

    CHEERS!
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    Don't forget...if you have a Twitter account, they have your email address, meaning your on the Genius's mailing list.

    Wait for it...
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    My prediction is to look for Twitter to buy or negotiate with mylikes.com in the near future as the form they choose for monetizing.

    Mylikes is a ppc style platform that was developed by two x-engineers from Google who were responsible for programming and deploying Googles Adsense platform.

    That's my take.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    One of the founders of Twitter was also the founder of Blogger.

    He made serious bank when he sold Blogger to Google.

    Somehow, I suspect that the business plan for Twitter may be the same.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Shane,

      With $360 million in total funding and a $3.7 billion valuation we can only expect further growth and great things as Twitter takes flight in 2011
      From this article.

      You asked -

      Can you imagine having the 10th most visited website in the world and not knowing how to make money from it??? Am I the idiot here and missing something?
      I think they're just biding their time and I would wager that they know exactly what they are doing.
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      Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author Shane N
        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        Hi Shane,

        With $360 million in total funding and a $3.7 billion valuation we can only expect further growth and great things as Twitter takes flight in 2011
        From this article.

        You asked -

        Can you imagine having the 10th most visited website in the world and not knowing how to make money from it??? Am I the idiot here and missing something?
        I think they're just biding their time and I would wager that they know exactly what they are doing.
        I agree with you! However, "funding" is different from making money (or profit) from their website directly...

        I am sure they know what they're doing and just the fact that they are the 10th most visited site on the net alone is enough to make them be valued at $3.7 billion.

        But it still makes me cringe to think about all the traffic they've had that didn't get monetized! (As well as had to get paid for -- in bandwidth costs -- by the funding money from investors, etc!)

        Best,
        Shane
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Shane Natan View Post

          But it still makes me cringe to think about all the traffic they've had that didn't get monetized!
          It is my contention that if they had monetised it, they would no longer have it.
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          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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          • Profile picture of the author wealthpark1
            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

            It is my contention that if they had monetised it, they would no longer have it.
            Who would have it then?
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            • Profile picture of the author Shane N
              Originally Posted by Shane Natan

              But it still makes me cringe to think about all the traffic they've had that didn't get monetized!
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              It is my contention that if they had monetised it, they would no longer have it.
              Originally Posted by wealthpark1 View Post

              Who would have it then?
              Interesting... I am also curious to know who you think would have it?

              Unless you meant that had they monetized it, people would have abandoned Twitter?

              I think if they had monetized their traffic thus far, they could have made millions...

              Best,
              Shane
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              • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
                When youtube was sold to google I don't believe it was making a profit either.

                All these sites are really in the pioneer stage.

                We simply have no idea what direction the internet will take long term and how many different kinds of services will be monetized.

                Many of these businesses are just focused on creating a business they can sell for a large sum of money or on creating a popular, viral service and worrying about monetizing it later.

                Kindest regards,
                Andrew Cavanagh
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              • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                Hi Shane,

                I am also curious to know who you think would have it?
                Someone else with a similar service, who wasn't monetising it.

                they could have made millions...
                Instead, they've made billions (on paper) by not monetising it.
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                Roger Davis

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                • Profile picture of the author ss442
                  Here is part of the TOS (terms of service) when signing up for a Twitter account;

                  You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.

                  Selling leads is a multi-billion dollar business. I am sure Twitter is aware of that, "what do you think?"

                  Ed
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                  Ed Sunderland

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                • Profile picture of the author Shane N
                  Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

                  Hi Shane,

                  I am also curious to know who you think would have it?
                  Someone else with a similar service, who wasn't monetising it.

                  they could have made millions...
                  Instead, they've made billions (on paper) by not monetising it.
                  Good point... but they haven't necessarily made billions. They are "valued" at billions, but have only really made $360 million from venture capitalists over a 4 year period.

                  There is a large fundamental difference between SELLING a website and MONETIZING a website.

                  SELLING Twitter for billions of dollars is NOT monetizing the site... It's selling it to someone else.

                  If someone bought Twitter for billions of dollars... They would find themselves with a website that is NOT monetized. Do you understand what I am saying?

                  Best,
                  Shane
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                  • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                    Hi Shane,

                    Do you understand what I am saying?
                    Kind of.

                    I know the difference been 'made' and 'valued at' which is why I said 'on paper'.

                    They haven't 'made' anything from the venture capitalists. The $360m been invested in the company (for a price).

                    There is a large fundamental difference between SELLING a website and MONETIZING a website.

                    SELLING Twitter for billions of dollars is NOT monetizing the site... It's selling it to someone else.
                    I'm completely aware of that.

                    As was mentioned earlier, if it's a choice between making millions through monetisation or billions through selling, most people would aim to sell.

                    For clarity - they are in it for profit, regardless of the method of gaining that profit. If websites that don't make (relatively) much money (or lose money) can sell for crazy amounts (EG youtube) then why risk that by trying desperately to monetise as soon as possible?

                    I can understand your point if you say that it must be difficult to resist the urge to monetise all of that traffic, but if you are saying that it's illogical to not try and monetise it right now, just because they might appear to be leaving money on the table, then I disagree with that logic.
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    • Profile picture of the author 82ana
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      One of the founders of Twitter was also the founder of Blogger.

      He made serious bank when he sold Blogger to Google.

      Somehow, I suspect that the business plan for Twitter may be the same.
      That makes a lot of sense. Esp. in the light of Google weighing Twitter accounts/feedback as the word of god when it comes to social PR for a page/site.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie888
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      One of the founders of Twitter was also the founder of Blogger.

      He made serious bank when he sold Blogger to Google.

      Somehow, I suspect that the business plan for Twitter may be the same.
      This seems to be the familiar path that many of these internet start ups take. Facebook was in a similar scenario as well, and was hemorrhaging cash for the first 3 years, and it was not until 2008 that it finally turned a profit.

      People were trying hard to persuade Mark (Zuckerberg) to sell/dump the company during its first three years because of its dismal financial performance, so it's a really good thing that he didn't as he'd have missed out on being a billionaire.
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  • Profile picture of the author GuruGazette
    I think you tube did the same didn't they? Grew it into something massive with huge losses for years then sold it for a big sum.

    This its actually an important lesson for marketers though... Two lessons actually:
    1. Have a plan before you start, and an exit strategy is a critical part of that plan.
    2. Traffic is not always what it's cracked up to be.

    Its easy to get thousands - even hundreds of thousands - of visitors a day, just release a cool software product, a popular word press plugin, great web design theme, etc or post a breaking news story (think about wiki leaks for a minute), controversy, etc. Then there's link spamming, trickery and so on that can explode traffic too. The point though, is that traffic in and of itself can be worthless and costly if you don't have a plan for it. Traffic is not what most of us want or need, TARGETED traffic is.

    Unless of course you have a viable plan to explode and sell
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  • Profile picture of the author Happy_Balance
    Originally Posted by Shane Natan View Post

    ... And it doesn't seem like they are monetizing their site at all...

    What gives?
    They are 'quietly' monetizing:
    "Most of Twitter's revenue so far has flowed from deals that have given Google, Microsoft Corp.'s Bing and other Internet services better access to its messaging stream. Over the past eight months, Twitter has gradually allowed ads to appear amid its service's chatter." ~source


    They are monetizing @Twitter, while also spending money like it's 1999.
    • Gotta' love this quote:
    'Twitter has now raised about $360 million since its 2007 inception.
    With so much cash being supplied by investors, Twitter's management has been able to focus on hiring more workers and adding more features instead of worrying about how to make money.' ~same source

    Sounds like fun :p*
    *until you actually make money and owe most of your future profits to the investors.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shane N
      Originally Posted by Happy_Balance View Post

      They are 'quietly' monetizing:
      "Most of Twitter's revenue so far has flowed from deals that have given Google, Microsoft Corp.'s Bing and other Internet services better access to its messaging stream. Over the past eight months, Twitter has gradually allowed ads to appear amid its service's chatter." ~source


      They are monetizing @Twitter, while also spending money like it's 1999.
      • Gotta' love this quote:
      'Twitter has now raised about $360 million since its 2007 inception.
      With so much cash being supplied by investors, Twitter's management has been able to focus on hiring more workers and adding more features instead of worrying about how to make money.' ~same source

      Sounds like fun :p*
      *until you actually make money and owe most of your future profits to the investors.
      Thanks for the great and informative response.

      $360 million dollars in 4 years doesn't seem like a lot for a huge site like Twitter though... Especially being the #10 website in the world.

      I am glad to see that they are monetizing in some little ways though, that at least makes sense! I'm sure they'll find their way, but 4 years seems like a long time and had they been offering some sort of PPC or "Pay Per Tweet" service up until now I am sure they would have made unbelievable bank...

      Best,
      Shane
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  • Profile picture of the author Ashley Wright
    Twitter has a plan I can tell you that for a fact!

    Just watch this space! They've probably seen this thread now and thought what are we doing!
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    • Profile picture of the author vicone
      I understand the new Twitter interface has been part of their strategy to produce revenue. It has features which are meant to allow graphics, etc.

      Unfortunately, many people, myself included, don't like the new interface. I've tested it and refuse to use it as it doesn't give me the information I require when I want to follow others (new Twitter displays a meaningless bio of followers instead of the most recent, dated message). There is currently a warning at the top of the old interface along the lines that its future is doomed and tomorrow belongs to new Twitter.

      If they make it harder to get targeted followers manually, it seems to me they are shooting themselves in the foot.

      I hope they make some money. Perhaps they will then be able to afford staff who understand what is required by genuine users.

      Ivan
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  • Profile picture of the author James Foster
    Look what facebook did.

    Basically they went for 5 years without making any money... once they had a userbase of 3-4 MILLION people - then they turned on the PPC style ads and started raking in cash.
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    • Profile picture of the author USHwy129
      Originally Posted by James Foster View Post

      Look what facebook did.

      Basically they went for 5 years without making any money... once they had a userbase of 3-4 MILLION people - then they turned on the PPC style ads and started raking in cash.
      Ding ding we have a winner!

      Just like a drug pusher...give away your product for free, get as many people hooked as you can, then when they can't live without it, start charging them. (in this case charging them not in dollars, but their time/attention reading ads)
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  • Profile picture of the author AndreVas
    I think Twitter already has monetization methods engaged: Twitter Revenue Model - MindMeister Mind Map
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  • Profile picture of the author Bremaine
    Hmm, had no idea Twitter hasn't made anything. But I imagine there's some cash flow somewhere. Maybe they get paid per person that joins? Nah, maybe not. But, who knows, I imagine they'll start doing something soon; ads, premier accounts, who knows.
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  • Profile picture of the author hamzidosh
    Jeez!
    I just cant believe this info..."Twitter not monetized???" I neva even tot of it!
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    • Profile picture of the author packerfan
      Do you expect them to put up some ads on the site promoting ebooks? Adsense? Think a little bigger. Rest assured there's a strategy for making money with the site. It will likely come in the form of an ad platform or something similar. Twitter knows what it's millions of users are thinking, making it possibly the most reliable source of targeting for advertising and marketing research in the world.

      I wouldn't lose sleep worrying about twitter making money.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shane N
        Originally Posted by packerfan View Post

        Do you expect them to put up some ads on the site promoting ebooks? Adsense? Think a little bigger. Rest assured there's a strategy for making money with the site. It will likely come in the form of an ad platform or something similar. Twitter knows what it's millions of users are thinking, making it possibly the most reliable source of targeting for advertising and marketing research in the world.

        I wouldn't lose sleep worrying about twitter making money.
        Don't worry... I'm not losing any sleep over it, I just thought it was extremely interesting that one of the TOP sites in the world is so lightly monetized.

        Thanks to everyone who gave their input so far... I learned a few things already that I had no idea about!

        Best,
        Shane
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  • Profile picture of the author CMCarlin
    keep in mind that it was actually quite awhile before google placed ads on the SERPs.

    Anything that has a lot of eyeballs, has value.
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  • Profile picture of the author wealthpark1
    I am still in shock by the realization, what are they waiting for to monetize their website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
    If they don't make money, then why are there advertisements when you login. look under trending, you'll see an icon that says PROMOTED.

    They are making the big bucks of these promoted tweets
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    "The patient dog eats the fattest bone" - the theme song of Twitter.


    I can't wait!
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  • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
    You really need to have a 10k budget to advertise on Twitter
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  • Profile picture of the author 82ana
    Can you see the promoted sign next to some of the recommendations?
    What's that for? advertising? That'd be my guess.

    (Srry about the dark theme but that's my twitter pg )
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  • Profile picture of the author pethanks
    I think the site administrators are still monetizing but not as much as others did. Besides, we really do not know the real story behind.
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  • Profile picture of the author auradev
    Twitter does sell advertising, McDonalds paid $86K for a one day feature and it blew up in their face.

    'McRib Is Back' Promotion Turns Into a Twitter Roast | ClickZ
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  • Profile picture of the author gazstevens
    $3.7 billion kerching kerching,,, I'd take that for a couple of years work.
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