Do you have 53 followers on Twitter? Shouldn’t you be making money off of them somehow, selling their attention to the highest bidder? Well, now you can with TwittAd. You list how many followers you have and for how much you are willing to sell an ad on your Twitter page, and TwittAd will match you with advertisers. Then the ad sits on the empty left-hand column of your Twitter page. The ads appear on any individual message page for standalone Tweets as well.
Something like this was bound to happen. If you’ve got an audience, no matter how small, advertisers will figure out a way to reach them. The ads themselves are actually not so bad, and relatively unobtrusive. At least TwittAd is not plastering the entire background with blaring ads—although, that would get my attention. Sort of a Nascar look. Robert Scoble could make a killing, except that his Twitter page is already plastered with ads of himself.
Selling space on your Twitter page obviously will bring more money the more followers you have. (TwittAd lets you set your own price, but market forces set a price per follower soon enough). We’ve already seen semi-famous Twitterers try to auction off their entire accounts. Keeping the account and selling the ad space makes more sense, because those followers are not going to stick around once they start getting Tweets from Pepsi.
The problem with placing ads on your Twitter page, though, is that ultimately you may just be advertising to yourself. I rarely go to the Twitter pages of people I follow. Their Tweets appear on my Twitter page (and my FriendFeed page, and my Thwirl client, and my Twinkle app on my iPhone). That’s why I follow people, so I can get their Tweets pushed to me. The only way ads are going to work on Twitter is if they are blended into the message stream and sent out as Tweets. But that would be annoying.