The future of Twitter: Twitter Gadgets

We’ve heard all about “Promoted Tweets” and the possibility of adding “Paid Tweets” but do you really think that this model will be sustainable? I think it might be a great start but in the long run they will need to develop some new alternatives. I do believe that Twitter has great potential on ways to monetize, I will share with you my vision of the future business model of Twitter.

Twitter has some great advantages over other social networks and believe that its biggest one is its simplicity. This makes it a perfect platform to conquer what most techies call the final frontier: unite the virtual world with the physical world.

Unite the virtual world with the physical world?

Twitter has rapidly shifted from a few technology enthusiasts to millions of members. The large majority of them follow already non-living things from toasters like @mytoaster to telescopes @MKII. Well yes, we have started to follow tweets from non-living things and suddenly Twitter has blurred the borders between virtual world and the physical word, with most of us not even realizing it. I particularly find this to be very interesting, a few years back the concept of merging the internet or virtual world with the physical web was very difficult to explain, at least to non-technology enthusiast. Today, Tweeter has made this concept easier to be understood.

The Internet of Things

To take this interesting interaction to the next step we will need an additional ingredient. A few years ago I collaborated doing some research studies for a High Tech Company who developed a product based on Wireless Sensor Networks for the mainstream market. A wireless sensor network is a computer network made out of Miniature-Computers, so-called sensor knots or Nodes that are equipped with sensors that accomplish common tasks by interoperation. When I say common task, I mean simple tasks such as monitoring environmental parameters, movements or posting status messages through Twitter.

With the experience I’ve gathered in the search marketing industry I can see the great potential in merging this technologies for a future business model for Twitter. I have divided this new business model into two areas of development:

  • Twitter Gadgets (Or Twitter hardware)
  • Twitter Targeted Adds (by Geo Location or Project Theme)

Twitter Gadgets

Today, sensors are cheaper, equipment and nodes for configuring wireless sensor networks are easier to acquire, many European and American companies are currently selling them online. Code can easily be developed for non-living objects to send twitter posting of measured environmental parameters through sensors. In other words we are in the perfect position and time to create a device that would make the internet more interactive with the real world, not only to a few technology enthusiasts but to any mainstream user.

I would like you to visualize the concept of Twitter Gadgets as a, let’s say “LEGO for any internet user”. Devices that can help you build your own projects and applications. By adding different sensors and devices you could build scaled projects, just like “LEGO pieces”.

To illustrate the concept, let’s say this is your small “Twitter Gadget Home Project”, as shown below in the diagram. The Main Twitter Gadget would be a in other words a node with small processing chips that can interoperate with other scattered Twitter Gadgets with small sensors.

The diagram illustrates how all of the nodes can perform simple monitoring tasks and all of them could be sending parameters to be posted to your Twitter stream. Wouldn’t that be great, to know if your stove was left on, if your plants needed water or if the kids left the lights on. Imagine the immense possibilities and variety of projects that could be undertaken.

Now lets translate this technology into digital marketing concepts, in order to validate the business model. Could sensors mesure the amount of food left on our fridge? the amount of gas left on your lawnmower? Well the answer is YES. Now imagine having a set of suggested retailer offers on your twitter stream according to your specific needs. This would be highly targeted adverts built by the same consumer based on their very unique needs.

I am currently working on a small prototype and hope I have enough time to finish it. Please let me know if you find this idea viable or have any comments regarding it, please drop me an Email!