Yesterday at the EconSM conference in San Francisco, Kevin Thau, director of mobile biz dev for Twitter, suggested that the company is currently exploring and/or working on several revenue streams: search, content partnerships and mobile carrier-based deals (sharing in data revenues). There are probably others on the “white board” as well including fees for premium services, as well as display advertising.
PaidContent has a quick summary of Thau’s remarks about the first three potential “streams.”
Regarding search monetization, there have been rumors of Twitter discussions with Google and Microsoft. Such a partnership with some sort of revenue floor or guarantee probably falls into the “no brainer” category for Twitter.
Right now Twitter search isn’t particularly good, so the company would need to do additional work on search relevance before expecting to being able to drive many clicks. But, voila, Twitter hired Santosh Jayaram, previously the VP of Search Quality for Google, and will be making changes and upgrades to Twitter search in the near future.
In the realm of wild speculation, one interesting thing to consider is whether Twitter might use a near-term deal with a major search engine to provide revenue while it developed its own in-house PPC bidding system (build or buy).