Article in Social Media category.
Finally, Twitter is Becoming the New Commercial Frontier
Twitter has already become one of the web’s great communication mediums, useful for sharing information, announcements, and events. But users are now starting to look to…
Twitter has already become one of the web’s great communication mediums, useful for sharing information, announcements, and events. But users are now starting to look to Twitter as a place to find ways to save money and big companies and new sites are rising up to help them do that.
Collectively, this represents the newest social media sea change: the overt commercialization of Twitter. Like other social media, Twitter has been commercial for a long time: there are ads, people have used it organically to spread promotions, and companies use it to communicate with their user base. But now, people are utilizing the site for direct monetary savings and both existing large companies and new websites are taking advantage.
Twitter users have become particularly interested in finding coupons, discounts, and promotional codes on the site. Of course, Twitter has become so large that finding all the right discounts and promotions is very difficult. CouponTweet, CheapTweet, and even American Express are helping users find the best deals on Twitter.
Site visitors can select from a set of featured coupons on the homepage and claim them or search for relevant ones by store name, category, or keyword. CouponTweet also has a selection of featured stores for easy searching. Once done searching and using deals, users can vote on whether an individual deal is actually worthwhile. The site needs some refinement in terms of its aesthetic but it appears to be the first version of a whole genre of sites devoted to helping people comprehensively search Twitter for discounts.
But CouponTweet is not the only site taking advantage; CheapTweet.com also helps Twitter users find monetary savings. The site is more user-generated than its rival; signed up members essentially tweet out deals and coupon codes to other users that then appear on the homepage or can be searched by store and category. Users cannot claim them directly off the site like with CouponTweet but there is a broader selection of options. Between the two sites, Twitter users can locate many of the potential discount and coupon opportunities available on Twitter at any given time.
Perhaps even more interesting, big companies are getting in on the Twitter discount game very directly. American Express just announced a new program that will give discounts for tweets. Users are directed to a page where they link their American Express account to Twitter and then they can tweet various special offer hashtags in exchange for credit card savings. It’s part of American Express’ larger campaign, which includes programs with Facebook and Foursquare, to utilize social media to spread its promotions and deals to new potential clients.
So, it’s coming: Twitter is becoming another cross between a social media site and a web marketplace. The true commercialization of Twitter has begun.