For Twitter, earning income can be done through activities such as promoted tweets and sales of analytic tools and services to advertisers. As Twitter employs a number of its users’ private information such as names, email address, pictures, videos and the like, the founders of Twitter should ensure that whatever step they decide to take to produce income will not result to a violation of their users’ privacy. Four years after it went live in 2006, Twitter began planning to make the site generate income.
Valued at US$1 billion and with over four billion tweets from users worldwide (Fraiha 1), founders of Twitter do have a lot to lose if their strategy for earning income will overstep legal boundaries on privacy, not only of the United States but of all countries with Twitter users. Together with Google and Microsoft, Twitter is considering dabbling in data-mining and make use of their large database to earn revenue. Unfortunately, existing issues regarding privacy is making the three companies stop and consider whether the idea is viable or not.
2. There are several stakeholders in this case. First are the billions of users inside and outside the United States. They are what made Twitter become popular and the reason the company is worth billions. If Twitter’s monetizing scheme would violate privacy laws, it is the users’ personal information that is at stake.
The second stakeholders would be the companies and individuals that are now enjoying free advertisement via “tweets” to Twitter users. Since Twitter has a worldwide user base that “tweet” in real time, pre- and post sales marketing is faster than traditional advertisement. (Fraiha 5) Requiring fees in exchange for posting advertisements would be one way for Twitter to generate income. Moreover, this may help in regulating the “advertising tweets” and, for users, avoid getting unwanted “marketing tweets”.
Competitors of Twitter