13 April 2010

Tweet! Twitter Ads!

It's happened. Twitter has decided to introduce advertising to its service. At one point, leadership of the firm called an ad-based revenue model "boring", but prudence seems to have won out over monotony.

What are your expectations of ads in Twitter? Expect it to be disruptive? Distracting? Detrimental? Personally, I await the evolution and further monetization efforts.

Twitter, like other services before it (hello, Pandora...), must try to make money to stave off a "cool but unprofitable" demise. The irony? Monetization efforts like advertising erode the desirability of the service for some users. It feels like Twitter is just entering the awkward adolescent stage of its business development: still cool, but getting pimples. We'll see how it looks when it's all grown up.

03 April 2010

iPad is Here... Has the World Been Saved?

"It's here! It's here!" chant the legions of Apple fans. The much awaited "Jesus Tablet" has arrived in stores. Despite gloomy economic times, folks are still lining up in front of Apple stores in the hope of being the first among their friends to fork over wads of cash for the shiny new toy.

WIRED perpetuated the hype last week with its article on "How the Tablet Will Change the World", and NPR today interviewed giddy iPad buyers in Apple's New York store. My favorite quote from the NPR story? "I'm going to use my iPad to play games!" As if we've been waiting since the discovery of fire for the breakthrough that would let us play games... Yay!

Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked about the new device from Jobs & Co., but I'm not yet ready to put it in the category of world-changing, epiphany-granting religious icon. I have already classified it as a Kindle-killer and money maker.

Apple is hot and not promising to have enough inventory to satisfy demand (thereby keeping prices high). AT&T is cashing in at $30/month for the iPad data plan. And people will buy, buy, buy. A great business initiative? Yup. Messiah as device? TBD.