It didn't take an economic recession to make 'monetise' the buzz word in social networking, but this takes Twitter in a whole new angle...
In perhaps the most overtly capitalist use of the micro-blogging site to date, giant PC maker Dell has announced it will be offering deals from the Dell Outlet exclusive to Twitter in the US.
"We're offering coupons, really good coupons, to our followers that they can't get anywhere else," added Stefanie Nelson, Dell's Demand Generation Manager. "We're also going to be doing more productivity tips and tricks, more regular tweets and we want them to know we're a resource for them as well to ask questions and comment on our site and really interact with us."
Dell currently has over 12,000 followers on its US site and it seems - if successful - that the scheme will spread to Twitter users in other countries. That said, the drop-off elsewhere is noticeable with Twitter's Dell UK profile currently followed by just 329 users - virtually the same number that puts up with my inane daily tweets. Now this is all a long way from the famed "What are you doing?" Twitter slogan but this social/professional split does seem inevitable for a site with 1 000 per cent annual growth.
Ultimately, the future of Twitter is going to be a very different proposition than it is now where we can innocently listen to a stream of 140 character consciousness from Stephen Fry all day. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing however depends entirely how the site deals with it. After all, don't we all remember the furore amid the FaceBook redesign?!
So, and it's about time we put this one out there: any major Twitterers amongst the TR masses? Swap follower boasts and IDs in the comments section...