Twitter me this – Will Twitter Tweet No More?
No business plan; un-monetizable; operating at a loss in perpetuity. Have these attributes ever stopped any internet business start-up? No way – these are minor inconveniences. See what the faculty at Wharton School of Business have to say about Twitter.
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All That Twitters Isn’t Gold: A Popular Web Application in Search of a Business Plan
Meanwhile, Twitter doubters aren’t hard to find. “I find the Twitter phenomenon to be a charming little surprise of the Web 2.0 world,” says Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader, “but I’m skeptical about its long-run sustainability and impact.” Wharton management professor David Hsu agrees that Twitter does one thing well — messaging in 140 characters or less — but argues that the service will have to evolve or it will be replicated by rivals. Indeed, Facebook recently redesigned its user pages to mimic Twitter’s rapid-fire updates. “How protectable is Twitter’s service as it stands today?” asks Hsu.
And Bernstein Research analyst Jeffrey Lindsay, also a fan of Twitter, says that the startup is a fine “pre-business” that can round up users, but ultimately fails to make much money. “The problem is that Twitter falls into the broad category of new Internet businesses that are almost un-monetizable,” writes Lindsay in a research note. “Whoever buys it will likely have to operate it at a loss in perpetuity, or until the next cool Web 2.0 social networking concept comes along and Twitter tweets no more.”