Torill Iversen

Om ledelse, IKT og sånt

The economy in social media


Earlier this week  it was time for the first study collection  at the course  “Technology trends and society development”.

The topics for these two days were divided in two as I see it. The first day addressed general trends in the modern society, special directed towards the use of social media. The second day we learned about different economy models,  with the focus on understanding how the money is generated out of social media.

My interest in social media has always been the use of it within organizations (E2.0), but I found the economy models interesting, because this is a question I have asked, but never found any good answers to.

If we take Twitter for example – how do they make money ?  The focus for now has been how businesses and people can use Twitter to make money. But what about the firm Twitter itselves ?

I understand that the enormous many people using Twitter, and the attention it gets everywhere probably make the company worth a lot, if they were about to sell their business as it is. But what about today ? How do they pay and hire employees, how do they deal with necessary cost they have to pay ?

I don`t see where the money is generated. With no ads anywhere, not selling a physically product and also having a huge user group that uses Twitter from third party applications as Tweetdeck, Seesmic, FriendFeed and so on.

When googling on this topic I cam over a post of David Chartier, who actually had been talking with one of  Twitters founders Evan Williams about how they can make money.  Still, the answers given in that blog doesn’t answer mine  – it is all future ideas and opportunities, – how do they survive today – at this moment ?

So – this topic will be one of those I hope this course will help me understand. Luckily my homework for now was just to find a interesting topic, the answers to it will hopefully be at place until having my exam in may 😉

Unless YOU  have some insight to share with me now ?:)

2 thoughts on “The economy in social media

  1. Interesting topic! I have no real insight to share, but some googling shows that they are being backed by various venture cap firms (no real surprises there): (see also

    Of course, they will need to start making money some time, or they will not survive. Here are a couple other thoughts on how they might start generating a cash flow:

    Who knows what the future will bring…


  2. It turns out the future wasn’t so far away:


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