When I first saw the headline today about the new exectweets service, I had a forehead-slapping "D'oh!" moment. After all, just this morning, I had posted an entry about a new Twitter app developed for the salesforce.com platform and I was critical of the fact that this salesforce announcement wasn't part of a deal or partnership with Twitter, the kind where money changes hands.
But then I started reading more about Exectweets - a Microsoft-backed service that brings the Tweets (aka Twitter messages) from CEOs into one streaming feed - and realized that this is not the holy grail of revenue models for Twitter.
Granted, Twitter is reportedly receiving an undisclosed amount of money for endorsing the venture and advertising it in a box on a user's main Twitter.com page. But no one's really implying that this is the big grand revenue plan that's expected to be announced in the first half of this year. That's probably a good thing, seeing how this venture really doesn't have a chance in its current form - for a couple of reasons:
First, the ads appear on a twitter.com-hosted page. Sure, I'm connected to Twitter all day, every day - but rarely do I ever go to the main twitter.com site. Instead, I'm interacting with the Twittersphere using the Twitterrific app - and I'm seeing ads from Twitterrific, not Twitter.
Second, I'm not seeing the overall value of exectweets yet. OK, so they're executives. But does that mean that everything they say on Twitter has "stop-the-presses" value? Just in my quick peek at the site, I'd say no. And there's nothing to stop me from identifying and following specific CEOs who seem to post Tweets worth following. (I've already started following a few of them and was already following a couple of others before.)
So, good for Twitter for cutting a deal that's bringing in a few bucks. It further validates that idea that there's value in microblogging. But it's a good thing that this isn't the big revenue plan that we're expecting from Twitter. I'm hopeful that Twitter can come up with something better.