For those of you who may think Twitter is in a category of it’s own, check out the Nov 7 issue of Businessweek. A story titled Building a Better Twitter highlights the growth of the microblogging market. Twitter may have the most followers so far, but other sites that promise more features and better reliability and have a sustainable business model are popping up. Many of the new ones are content-specific. For example, Blip.fm for music, Zannel for pictures and Seesmic for videos (all claim they are complementary to Twitter instead of competitive). And then there’s Yammer that is geared to an enterprise audience.
Of course, the big dogs aren’t sitting still. Apparently Facebook wants to be a microblog aggregator.
Current business model options are interesting. Instead of advertising, Blip.fm gets a small referral fee everytime a user links from Blip to Amazon.com to buy a song. And true to form for the music industry, it also hopes to make $$ through sales of T-shirts, ticket sales and as a marketing resource for labels and musicians. Wasn’t the internet supposed to eliminate the middlemen?
The article is definitely worth a read. My only question is this: Is a post still a “tweet” if it’s not on Twitter?