Here's how you make money out of Twitter – charge £495 for a search interface

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UK entreprenuer Colin Gilchrist has developed Tweetabits, effectively a Tweet-deck style interface layered over Twitter search.

Developed for a franchise with 56 offices across the UK (which he won’t name) the issue was that they didn’t want those offices competing over tweet responses to customers. Actually this isn’t such a bad idea. Who wants to subscribe to Zappos (the legend in the Twitter customer services area) and see every customer service response they have to every schmuck with a problem with their shoes?

The version you can see displayed is only only providing results for Tweets sent from Edinburgh (assuming peiople have bothered to make this clear in their settings of course – millions of people have their Twitter location set to the default Hawaii).

But here’s the best bit. Each user £495 with a support contract – if required – which delivers consultancy on best use and providing statistical data on use and interaction. “Support” is a word which sets alarm bells suddenly ringing in terms of scaling this thing.

Gilchrist says it’s “an easier way for those less familiar with twitter search to deliver location specific columns of results that they can track.”

Indeed it is but perhaps a customise version of Tweedeck could easily put paid to this idea? Your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Mark Nagurski

    Having had a (very quick) look at it, Tweetabits comes across as much a prospecting tool as a customer service / brand tracking one.

    From their site:

    “Tweetabits lets you select the best targets in your market, so your business can score more hits and waste less time and ammunition.

    With a clear list of which users are most ready for your product as well as a valuable overview of the general trends in the market, you’ll be ready to make contact with your leads. ”

    The screenshots displayed also use generic terms like ‘tax’ ‘accountants’ etc…

    Perhaps I’m taking it up the wrong way but, used to that end, I’m not sure how effective a strategy it would be (I personally dislike getting tweets from brands when I happen to mention one of their target words).

    On a more general note, I do think there’s a market for ‘paid for’ interfaces but guess that it’ll be more of a bespoke service.

  • Gemma Went

    There is already a tool that allows you to narrow searches to a certain area (say within 10 miles of London) which is free, and very useful for targeted searches:

    Obviously you don’t get the ‘support’ bit, however I would need to understand exactly what you get for that before coming to a final conclusion about this. But on the face of it, a good idea.

  • GeekGuy

    This sentence puts me off instantly:

    “effectively a Tweet-deck style interface layered of Twitter search”

    Its a geeky sentence with the usual no-meaning and tying to sound super technical clever clever clever. We are so clever, and you are stupid OK? >> arrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh. Geeks are basically sick people.

  • GeekGuy

    I was a geek and dread returning to it, because of the people who do that job. (Or what the job does to people)

  • Jason

    just like seesmic and all the others, these guys are part of a dangerous ecosystem reliant on the whim of 1 player = Very bad business

    • Colin Gilchrist

      It’s not such a bad idea when it’s a product… and developed for a fee paying franchise owner – who is now happy for it to be opened up for general use.

  • Jakob Lundstedt

    Where is your last post about throwing stuff on Arrington? Did he censor you? ^^

  • Edinburgh’s Tweetabits get TechCrunched « StartupCafe

    […] 19 July, 2009 by Kate Ho Tweetabits, a web-based twitter search interface which allows you to tag and analyse tweets according to a narrow search criteria, got TechCrunched on Friday. […]

  • Munir

    Just cant stop my self to comment on your blog. Good post.

  • @jimwolffman

    There’s definitely a gulf between hard-core Twitter users and larger companies who know there’s value in real-time analysis but just can’t get their heads round it.

    Tweetabits looks like it’ll do a great job in bridging that gap, and cheap at the price, considering how much it would be to get a ‘social media consultant’ to explain and manage their Twitter account for them.

  • SearchCap: The Day In Search, July 20, 2009

    […] Here’s how you make money out of Twitter – charge £495 for a search interface, TechCrunch […]

  • caps

    Just cant stop my self to comment on your quality MLB caps

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