Why Does Twitter's Business Model Matter to You?

That’s a real question, not a rhetorical one.

In a Radar post I wrote last week about whether Twitter’s user base was hitting a critical inflection point, the first comment was, “How does Twitter make money?” Although the post wasn’t about Twitter’s business model per se, a lot of the comments were. Which wasn’t too surprising, given that many people seem to care intensely about how Twitter will make money (it doesn’t do so yet).

Twitter could make money in a number of ways, from selling data to selling services (it recently posted an ad for a Business Product Manager, calling the role “Twitter’s first product manager focused on revenue generation” and then describing a product that sounds like competition for Yammer and Present.ly). Indeed, Blog posts and articles speculate constantly, and comments around the Web range from curious to seemingly angry that Twitter is not yet generating serious cash. Some of the discussion is constructive, but a lot of it is pretty hostile toward Twitter.

I can understand the argument that people who build services on the Twitter API want assurance that the company will be around for the long haul. But that point rarely comes up in stories or comments, and I suspect it’s not fueling the fire.

So, if you’re among those who care: why does Twitter’s business model matter to you?