Twitter to Make Money from Business Services

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How will Twitter make money? Co-founder Biz Stone answered the potential million-dollar question during a PBS interview last Friday. USAToday has more:

We finally get to see and hear from elusive Twitter co-founder Biz Stone — who has gotten into the habit of answering media queries via blog posts and email. Tavis Smiley’s interview of Stone (aired) on PBS channels across the nation. PBS gave us a copy of the transcript.

On how Twitter will avoid the fate of popular social networks that get tons of eyeballs — but not nearly enough online advertising revenue to operate in the black, Stone has a simple answer: Twitter is not going after ad revenue.

Stone outlines of a plan to get corporate giants like Whole Foods, Best Buy, Jet Blue and Comcast, along with small businesses, like New York City cookie shops, to pay Twitter for professional services related to generating Twitter traffic for commercial purposes. He says Twitter this year will begin selling what sounds like subscription services to businesses.

“Twitter will remain free for everyone, but we may be able to offer an additional layer of value to some of these commercial accounts,” says Stone. “Whether it’s through analytics, ‘How can I Twitter better?’ Or whether it’s through some sort of certification, you know, ‘How can we make sure everybody knows that this is definitely JetBlue and not someone pretending to be JetBlue?’

I wonder whether Twitter is going for a buyout. A business service sounds interesting enough, but the real bucks have got to be in a buyout. Surely Google wouldn’t mind a piece of the action (again)…