Open Letter to Elon Musk, Making Twitter Profitable

For some companies, data and the company go hand in hand.  Fair Go casino login Australia or any casino for that matter, is constantly dealing with data.

Another company that deals with a lot of data is Twitter.  It is not just the Twitter feeds (individual Twitter messages), but also all of the information about the Twitter Account.

Elon Musk took over Twitter around 2 weeks ago, and when dealing with so much data, even the most simplest changes can become complex.  But at the end of the data, Twitter is a business and it has to pay its employees, pay rent for its business offices, and pay for the hardware and software upkeep.  In the past Twitter depended only on ad revenue, but it was not enough to keep the bill paid.  So Musk is looking into other revenue streams to help keep the business open and continue to provide the service that the users want and expect.

Grandfather in existing “verified” accounts for 6 to 12 months

When Twitter first opens up the option to verify accounts to the general public, there is, hopefully, going to be a mad rush.  Twitter does not want to add onto all of that confusion by including all of the existing “verified” accounts, essentially repeating the work that has already been done.

For the grandfathered accounts, divide them into 12 groups, so that 1/12th of them get verified each month (converted to paid verifications) over the next 12 months.

Enterprise Business Verified Account

These accounts are for businesses that have physical locations that exist all over the country.  An example would be McDonalds or Sears.  The company has to verify that their twitter handle is owned and operated by the Company’s headquarter’s location.  If they want verified Twitter handles for each state or each of their locations, similar to most other enterprise sales, they can get a bulk discount.

They can also get a naming convention that makes sense.  For example, “Sears – Beautiful Large Mall (Someplace, State)”

If there are conflicts with names that already exist, Twitter can provide migration services to the other account (assuming they are okay with that).

Small Business Verified Account

This is intended for a small business that exists within a regional location.  “Happy Hardware (Someplace, State)”.  It can also be regional “Happy Hardware (Princeton, NJ)”.  (I made up the store name.  It does not exist).

Again, these are for businesses that have a physical location, or for example, a plumber, that has regular physical contact with their customers.

Online Only Business Verified Account

This is for a business that sells their merchandise nationwide or worldwide.  In order to be a registered business, they have to be registered with the local tax authority in the location where their headquarters is located (the physical person who is responsible for the Twitter account).

Individual Verified Account

An account where the individual has been verified.  The person has to be willing to send a copy of their photo ID as proof of who they are.  Since children have been getting fake photo IDs since forever, I do not know how secure this would actually be.

Allow people to list their location, if they desire.  “Donald Trump (Mar-a-Lago, FL)”.

“Freedom of Speech Supporter”

This is for people who want to support Twitter’s goal of keeping Freedom of Speech, but do not necissarily want to verifify their account.  Maybe they want to keep personal life personal, and business life business.

What to charge?

For the “Freedom of Speech Supporter”, it should be in the range of what people would expect to pay for a magazine subscription.  Maybe around the $29.00/year level ($2.50/month).

For the “verified” accounts, people are assuming that a human did something to verify the account.  If they say that they are a business, that Twitter verified with the appropriate government agencies to verify that yes this is a business.  If a person says that they are a doctor or a lawyer, that Twitter verified that yes they are a doctor or lawyer.  That costs money, so there is a charge for that.

With an “Enterprise Verified Account”, it would be assumed that the company wants a whole group of Twitter handles with a logical naming convention.  Again, that takes time and money to make that possible, so an appropriate fee is charged.

Think like the traditional Yellow Pages

Why was the Yellow Pages so successful?  It was simple to use.  You looked up a registered keyword (for example, Plumber, Electrician, Cable Television) and the city or region that you wanted to the service, and you found a whole list of businesses that could provide you with the service you were looking for.  Some businesses just had their buisness listed.  While others might have a business card size ad, 1/4 page ad, 1/2 page ad, and some even a full page ad.

How can Twitter create that functionality on top of what already exists in Twitter?

What did Yellow Pages provide?

The traditional Yellow Pages books stopped being published in the United States in 2018, but Canada still has them.

Listing Ad

Price is $5/month.  Add on bold text or color text.  Includes: Business name, address, and phone number.

Text Ads

Price is $10/month.  Extra lines for adding text.  Includes: Web link, email, and additional lines of text, as well as business name, address, and phone number.

Display Ads

Price is $35/month.  In additional to getting a text ad, you also get a graphic designed ad where you can get graphic design help.

  • Business name, address, phone number
  • Web line, email, additional lines
  • Logo, artwork, photos
  • Graphic designed by a professional
  • Call tracking and reporting

Speciality Ads

Starts at $20/month.  Picture the half page ad that you would see when you looked up “Plumbers”.  So half of the page would be the ad, and the other half of the page would be listings of different plumbers.

A business-card-sized ad could cost $250 to $400 a month, depending on your location.  But … the ad was there for a whole year.  Would businesses pay that much today?  Maybe, maybe not.  A lot would depend on how good the search engine was at removing the “garbage”.  In that I mean, if a person is searching for a plumber in Princeton, NJ, that only plumbers that service Princeton, NJ appear.

What is the problem with the internet today (my opinion)?

The problem with the internet is that there is too much information that is changing too quickly.  Everybody is trying to play games (look at me, look at me).  The traditional indexes or phone books that were published once a year are gone.  A business that spent the money and took the time to list in the Yellow Pages was serious about their business.

Even if they were a small business that was only serving a very small local area (a local bakery that specialized in birthday cakes), they would publish in the local yellow pages for their local community.  When they looked up bakeries, in that directory, the business was found.  They were not suffocated by other bakeries that serviced areas in completely different state (or different country).

It was “less”, but “more”.  The benefit was its simplicity.

Most businesses have a twitter handle, so they can publish daily or weekly ads to their regular customers.  So adding on directory features would make sense.  People might subscibe to their favorite local pizza place, but most people would not have a need to regulary subscribe to a local plumber (a much needed service, but not a regularly needed service).

Would it prevent fraud?

If a business has not been verified as a business account (registered with their local tax authorities), you are taking a risk is doing transactions with them.  How long have they been in business?  If you are buying a small craft item (for example, a memorial for your cat), you may not care that the business is not formally registered and/or verified.  But once the cost of the Goods and Services is over a certain amount, one would assume a person would stick with verified accounts (at least at the individual level).

As for people impersonating other people and saying inappropriate things, if you are a celebrity, you probably have a “business”.  Or you verify yourself as an individual.

And if a person does not want to verify themself, they can either be a “Freedom of Speech Supporter” or just a free account holder.