A major reason that Twitter seems like Silicon Valley's most popular tire fire is that its user growth has stalled as confusion over its monetization plan swells.
Well, Jack Dorsey ain't the CEO of everyone for nothin.'
One of the nuggets from Twitter’s Q3 earnings call Tuesday was a brief mention by COO and revenue chief Adam Bain that Twitter plans to start monetizing its logged-out user base on Twitter as part of a new pilot program sometime this quarter.
“We also are monetizing logged-out users across the network,” Bain said, referring to ads Twitter sells on third-party apps through services like MoPub. “This is the first time that we’ve been doing that. It’s going to come in handy as we also begin to run a pilot here in Q4 for on-Twitter logged out monetization. So we’re going to take some of those learnings and apply it back to Twitter logged-out products.”
Translation: Beginning with this quarter, Twitter plans to show ads to people who visit Twitter.com and user or topic timelines even if they don’t have a Twitter account. That means that if you visit Twitter’s homepage or click on a tweet in a Google search result and find yourself on a user’s timeline, you may also see promoted tweets (a.k.a. advertisements).
Twitter is using the force and turning its biggest weakness into a potential strength. While shareholders will probably not be immediately overwhelmed by the move, it does stand to reason that they will appreciate the balls it takes to tell people "Thanks for coming, now sign up for an account or we'll monetize the sh!t out of you by blinding you with targeted ads."