From @ Platform to Ad Platform? Twitter Announces @anywhere
Perplexing the business-model hungry pundits with a difference of just one letter, Twitter CEO Ev Williams underwhelmed the crowd today at his SXSWi keynote by announcing not an Ad platform but an @ platform, a way to further integrate Twitter's data into third party platforms without implementing an API.
"A window is transparent but a door is open, we're trying to be like a door," Evan said. A door that will hopefully add value (which in these specific cases means traffic/sales) to the media properties, search engines and retail outlets that Twitter hopes will adopt the service.
From the Twitter blog:
When we're ready to launch, initial participating sites will include Amazon, AdAge, Bing, Citysearch, Digg, eBay, The Huffington Post, Meebo, MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Salesforce.com, Yahoo!, and YouTube. Imagine being able to follow a New York Times journalist directly from her byline, tweet about a video without leaving YouTube, and discover new Twitter accounts while visiting the Yahoo! home page--and that's just the beginning. Twitter has proven to be compelling in a variety of ways. With @anywhere, web site owners and operators will be able to offer visitors more value with less heavy lifting.
At the end of this day this "value" means traffic, and traffic monetizes with advertising at this point in the game. Perhaps this is a way of circumnavigating sticking ads on actual tweets and getting publishers to sell those ads for Twitter indirectly.
When asked somewhat clumsily by Director of the Havas Media Lab Umair Haque about his greater vision, Williams replied, "Fostering the open exchange of information." And eyeballs most likely, because wherever there are eyeballs there's money.
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