Twitter co-founder Biz Stone just posted news on an update on changes to Twitter’s Terms of Service, “leaving the door open” for advertising opportunities, clearing the air on ownership of Tweets, and updating guidelines around Twitter’s API. Stone also mentioned that the new Terms of Service address spam and abusive behavior on Twitter.
The privacy clause about Tweets is big, considering this was a significant issue for Facebook. Twitter has deflected talk of advertising on on the platform in the past, but it seems pretty clear that they’re looking into it now as a real source of income as they strive for revenues. Stone addressed the issue of Twitter’s revenue recently, which is a complex issue.
Here’s what Biz wrote in the post:
Advertising—In the Terms, we leave the door open for advertising. We’d like to keep our options open as we’ve said before.
Ownership—Twitter is allowed to “use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute” your tweets because that’s what we do. However, they are your tweets and they belong to you.
APIs—The apps that have grown around the Twitter platform are flourishing and adding value to the ecosystem. You authorize us to make content available via our APIs. We’re also working on guidelines for use of the API.
SPAM—Abusive behavior and spam is also outlined in these terms according to the rules we’ve been operating under for some time.
Privacy when it comes to Tweets is an interesting issue, considering the whole Facebook angle. Granted, Twitter’s information is contained in 140 characters, so the depth of the information is slightly less intrusive.
The decision regarding revenue is a big one and has serious implications for Twitter’s valuation. Twitter is growing fast and the options are aplenty. But according to what Stone wrote today, it seems that Twitter is going to take it’s own sweet time to figure out the whole advertising strategy. The startup knows that it can make money with advertising if it needs to but obviously wants to figure out best one, considering the immense pressure. Twitter has tested text advertisements on the home page, ads in the stream, and text footer ads. Twitter also serves ads in the small box on profile pages for third-party Twitter apps, but doesn’t seem to charge the apps for the promotion.