ReadWriteWeb had a solid scoop last week when it uncovered Twitter was set to go live with an account called @EarlyBird. Well, it has just gone live, with a tweet pointing to this page where the company explains what it’s all about.
Looks like Twitter is about to start offering users exclusive, time-bound deals, events and sneak peeks, for which it has partnered with a number of (yet unnamed) advertising partners.
Those advertisers will distribute offers via the @EarlyBird account, and they get to determine the terms of the offer, including availability, amount, and pricing. And you? You get to opt in to them.
If you want to get access to said exclusive deals, you need to of course follow the @EarlyBird account, although you may also see offers if someone you follow retweets a tweet from that account. Yes, that means exclusive deals are bound to get viral pretty quickly, which will be interesting to observe given that many of the offers distributed via the account will be time-sensitive of nature (otherwise it wouldn’t be called Early Bird, of course).
Twitter outlines that it has deals with select advertisers in place, but welcomes suggestions of a product/event sent by @reply to @earlybird. Nevertheless, since Twitter clearly looks at this like a significant potential revenue stream, they are keen on emphasizing that it will be selective about the type of deals they highlight.
Also worth noting: the company suggests that deals will come mostly at the beginning of the day (it’s safe to assume that they mean the start of the day throughout the United States, at least at first).
As for internationally available offers:
Will these deals be targeted toward Twitter’s many users outside the United States?
At first, many of the advertising partners will be large, international brands or focused on the U.S. market. As @earlybird grows beyond this first early phase, so will the deals in different places.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that at the end of the list of questions presented on the introductory page, Twitter makes it clear that while it is kicking things off with US-wide offers, the company will explore location-based and even thematic (e.g. fashion or music) deals in the future. This could get pretty big, pretty quickly, in my opinion.
Now let’s see how many followers the @EarlyBird account gains in the next few days. At the time of publication, it had 833 followers.
For Twitter, this is far from the first or only attempt at generating revenue. It currently rents out access to its data ‘firehose’ to notable Web giants such as Yahoo, Google and Microsoft and is actively experimenting with Promoted Tweets and Trending topics.
For the record, Twitter has raised a staggering $160 million in funding to date, and we believe the valuation of the company to run up to $1 billion.
Do you think it’s worth that much?