Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

My argument is that they'd make much more revenue by taxing API than they hope to make with ads. Their API usage is obscene and growing rapidly, while ads don't really fit their users usage patterns.

In theory, i like the idea but I can't see paying for an API like a service would generate as much money for them in the long run as their current ads strategy. API Services tend to cap out at a certain rate so then you need to start offering unlimited packages, etc. Companies are not going to be paying millions of dollars for API services, I cant think of one example where this is remotely valid.

Have you thought about how Twitter would actually structure something like that? Twitter is monetizing FAR FAR better than any of these other small Twitter API clients. Something like Tweetdeck might have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars, but thats a joke compared to the kind of money Twitter is dealing with.

They are making hundreds of millions of dollars with ads. What do you mean by "ads don't really fit their users usage patterns"?

I hate ads as much as anyone, but they are working for Twitter. If you think Twitter's executives don't know what they are doing, you underestimate them.

According to this article, they made $140M in 2011 from ads. Of course, they project to make 3 times as much by 2014, but that remains to be seen. I think they can make much more by leveraging their API usage, which is larger than all the other large tech companies.


Regarding ads, people consume twitter for opinions, networking and links to content. They are rarely with purchase intent, as opposed to when they are actively searching something on Google, for instance. Facebook are facing a similar problem with their ads, but Facebook still has a much larger userbase and the time spent on the site is much larger than with Twitter. Promoted tweets are too obvious and often have a reverse effect on people who receive it.

You're preaching to the choir about intent. However, that article is old. Twitter's ads are much more effective this year than last. Romney alone paid $100k for one promoted trend that lasted a few hours. I know first hand they're making hundreds of millions this year.

The point is, you have no data to back your assertions about what's good for Twitter as a business. They spent years refining their business model based on their data, and they picked the one they have now.

As far as I know, Twitter has yet to explore (in practice) monetizing their API. Do you know anything about any experiments they've done in that space? it seems to me like ads are just a default monetization strategy to those companies

Search the Internet for 'twitter firehose license' and you can see for yourself.

Right, forgot about that completely. Their API usage did grow considerably since then. I would love to find some data on what were the results for that licensing experiment

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact