According to the Web analytics company Compete, the number of Twitter users has exploded over the past year. Usage has grown by a factor of 8 and it seems everyone is flocking to Twitter these days.
While Twitter has yet to figure out how to cash in on its success, there are a multitude of third-party developers who are. One of these is an advertising service called Twittad. Twittad connects Twitter users with advertisers who want to reach those users’ followers.
I only have been using Twitter now for a few weeks (click here to see my Twitter profile). For those who are not yet familiar with Twitter, it is basically a blogging-text messaging hybrid. Twitter users send “tweets”–short messages of 140 characters or less–to their followers. Some users seem to tweet their every move. Others, just the more important stuff. People use Twitter to follow experts in their field, celebrities, book authors, CEOs and pastors–anyone they want to keep up with. Likewise, people can find and follow you based on your posts, interests, and profile.
Twittad allows advertisers to search for Twitter users who are part of the service by city, state or country and place ads on their Twitter pages for a duration of 7 days or more. Users set the rates for their ad space and post these rates under their Twittad profiles. The going rate for ads appears to be about 1-3 cents per follower per week but this largely depends on the stock of the individual and the field in which the person works. The Wall Street Journal and others have speculated about the potential of celebrities and athletes using their Twitter followings for virtual endorsement deals.
You can also find user pages to place your ads by doing a keyword search. A quick search under the term “Christianity” revealed 30 users who were willing to sell ad space on their Twitter pages. There were 7 users under “Jesus” and four under “minister”.
Being part of a new Web site means we will probably stick our toes in these waters, but there is something about attaching your brand or name to Jesus as a search term that causes me to do a double-take. I don’t ever want to forget just how great a price Jesus paid for me and you. I have visions of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers outside the temple and the last thing I ever want to do is think of him as just a “search term.”
Of course, there won’t be more than a handful of Twitter users who get rich off this idea but it could be a way for a minister with a few thousand Twitter followers to earn a couple hundred dollars each month.