How Twitter will explode revenue: sharing revenue with top users

Things are getting interesting in the Twittreloin … let us count the ways:

1/Twitter is sharing revenue with their video partners right now, just like YouTube — but no one knows it. And no one knows what the split is. I’m guessing it’s 50-50 right now.

2/Video just rolled out to users in the form of 30-second clips. Many partners have the more advanced video uploading tools, which allow longer clips (including my podcast, This Week in Startups@twistartups).

3/Twitter is letting sponsored tweets into other Apps and splitting revenue with App developers.

As I mentioned on CNBC and here on the blog, Twitter will soon allow businesses and civilians to verify their accounts. After this happens the logical next step is splitting revenue with users.

[ Click to Tweet (can edit before sending): http://ctt.ec/Ma69T ]

This would be an unprecedented move in the social media space — but obviously YouTube has been doing it for years in the video space.

In fact, if Twitter starts splitting revenue with verified users (think folks with over 100k followers), the platform would explode with engagement as active Tweeters could start making a living — wait for it — TWEETING!

I know, it’s crazy to think you could make a living tweeting, but it’s not so far-fetched given the fact that some crazy Swedish dude is making millions per year playing Minecraft and acting like a 12-year old in his webcam.

Here is technically how it would work:

1. If someone buys ads on Twitter and selected your users to target (which you can do right now), Twitter would give you a portion of that revenue (say 20%). This means if folks are targeting @twistartups and @launchfestival to promote their technology conference, they would actually be paying 20% of that money to me — groovy!

2. If someone specifically wanted to run ads on Inside.com/nfl, a full 70% of that revenue would go to the NFL — and why shouldn’t it? After all, anyone loading the Twitter NFL page is there for NFL content, and those page loads are a small % of Twitter’s overall traffic.

3. Here’s the next big kicker: if folks specifically want to appear in a Twitter card on my tweets. For example, I tweet from @launchfestival, “Happy to announce that Elon Musk is our opening keynote!” (he’s not, he wanted to but he’s booked up at that time), someone would put right under that tweet “Launch Festival Tweets are brought to you by Red Bull! [ insert Red Bull Video here ].” Those appended ads could be 70/30 in favor of the content provider as well.

What all this revenue would come to is anyone’s guess, but I’ll guess tens of thousands per year for small brands and hundreds of thousands per year for medium-sized ones. Top accounts? Millions, just like YouTube!

Right now you have a passionate group of creators building content for the YouTube platform. On Twitter you have most folks promoting their products and talking to their fans — but not building made-for-the-medium content. Now you would.

[ Sidenote: if some designer wants to mock these ideas up I will place them in the post and link back to you. ]

While this might not double the number of people on Twitter overnight, it would grow the amount of time content creators and brands invested in the site by 2-10x. People who spend one hour per day on Twitter for promotion might hire dedicated folks to spend 18 hours per day on the platform.

That would create massive new content offerings which would, in turn, drive more people to the platform.

Best part is that Facebook would not only never share revenue with their partners, they’ve actually screwed them twice in their history: first, by making them PAY to get likes, and second, by making them pay to reach the people who liked their pages.

Sharing revenue would make Twitter the content partner to tens of thousands, while painting Facebook — correctly for now — as the net taker of value from content creators.

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