Twitter Business Center : What Is It And How It Works

Twitter has rolled out its newest product : Twitter Business Center that will provide businesses with additional tools to interact with their customers via Twitter.  A handful of businesses have reported to have received an email from Twitter that reads,

“Congrats!

Your account has been invited to participate in testing one of Twitter’s newest business-centric features, the Twitter Toolkit. We’ll be rolling it out to you within the next few days (if you don’t have it already) for your business or organization’s Twitter account. To get started, visit your business’ Twitter account settings…

http://twitter.com/settings/account

…and look for the “Business” tab. From there you’ll be directed to fill out some information which will help us verify your business or organization.”

What’s In It?

  • Will, for the first time, allow businesses to create ‘Verified Accounts
  • Businesses can choose to receive direct messages from users who the company is not following
  • Allow accounts to add multiple Twitter users as “Contributors” who can tweet on behalf of the business account

How It Works?

The selected businesses may see a ‘Business‘ tab on their account dashboard. Clicking on the link will take the business users to a page with tabs to enter four kinds of details : Overview, Business Info, Verification, Contributors.

Twitter for Business

The businesses may simply click through these tabs to enter the appropriate details to get started

Will It Be Priced?

Currently, the Twitter Business Center is still in its test phase and is being rolled out to specific businesses. The focus is apparently to completely transform the customer service operations of businesses. The service is of course for a fee. But there is no info on either the roll-out date nor the price

[via Mashable]

How Twitter’s “Embed This Tweet” Works

Yesterday Twitter announced the imminent launch of a new ‘Embed this tweet‘ feature that will allow bloggers to embed tweets in much the same way as they embed videos from YouTube or other websites.

So how will this work? Unlike the other embed codes where an iFrame script is generated, Twitter’s ‘Embed this tweet‘ features will not dynamically pull tweets. Instead, all that the feature will do is generate a simple HTML code that will generate a static tweet text with fancy background colors, etc.
Twitter embed this tweet
Interestingly the text is so static that even the ‘about 3 minutes ago via web’ shall stay static without dynamically changing the tweet time. The feature is a step in the right direction, but in the present form, it is no way useful.

[via Silicon Alley Insider]

Google To Patent Online Promotions Via Status Messages

Websites asking new users to “spread the word” by logging into their email accounts is not exactly new. Of late, it is not very uncommon to see the same thing happen with social networks. However, ‘The Mechanical Zoo’, the parent company of Aardvark – the social search engine that was recently acquired by Google has applied for a patent on the idea of viral ad campaigns via status messages.

In the application titled, “Online Word-of-Mouth Marketing of a Web Service Using Personalized Invitations via a Status Messaging Service“, the company has sought for rights on the concept whereby websites and web applications (like Farmville) that promote their service via the users’ status messages.

Here are a few screenshots of the idea that could now belong to Google.

Viral WOM campaign via status message

Status Message online ad campaign on Facebook

Viral WOM campaign via status message on Twitter

With applications like Farmville (and the thousands of Facebook apps) and Twitpic (and other Twitter apps) making use of similar features to promote their services via status messages, do you think such an idea is patentable?

Blackberry Twitter Client v1.0.0.37 Launch Delayed Till July

Blackberry focused blogs have been reporting a lot of interesting news on the upcoming Twitter client for the Blackberry platform. Folks at Crackberry seem to have got hold of a few screenshots of the new version 1.0.0.37 that is right now in private beta.

While the exact launch date of the Blackberry Twitter client is not yet known, speculations are rife that the launch is not going to happen anytime before June 30. The reason? The Terms and Conditions that private beta users agree to while signing up for the pilot test seems to suggest that. The T&C reads,

“Test Period: Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, the Pilot Test shall expire on June 30, 2010.”

That would mean it is going to be quite some time before users will get to lay their hands on the new Twitter client.

[via Crackberry, Blackberry Rocks]

Bing Quick Tabs To Help Organizing Search Results Easier

Microsoft has revealed some upcoming upgrades on its Bing Search engine at the Search Engine Strategies forum in NYC recently. These upgrades are aimed at making the website a better “decision engine” – a phrase that Microsoft coined to help them be number one in an industry heavily dominated by Google.

One of the important features that will make its way to the Bing search results is Quick Tab. This will assort search results into several categories for easier perusal. Also with agreements with Twitter and Facebook in place, Microsoft hopes to bring a real time touch to its results. VentureBeat writes,

“A search on Boston, for example, provides upfront information on weather, attractions and flight deals. Recently signed deals with Twitter and Facebook, help to put more real-time information within search results. And, finally, a map integrated with Foursquare is available that when activated shows local check-in locations and their “mayors” — users who are most active at any one location.”

We wonder if such a classification would work for the several long tail keywords that people search for in a variety of categories.

[via VentureBeat]

Blackberry Official Twitter Client Launch

Few weeks ago, Twitter launched their official Twitter client for Blackberry users in beta. Appears that the initial test run has been successful. Folks at Crackberry have written in that the official Twitter client for Blackberry will publicly launch on March 31 – that’s less than a week from now. Kevin from Crackberry writes,

“After the keynote this morning I rolled by the BlackBerry booth and stumbled upon the Twitter pod. After some smooth talking (just kidding, no smooth talking required), I was informed that the Official Twitter for BlackBerry client will be rolling out to the public on March 31st.”

I’m not a Blackberry user, but I am just curious that it took so long for Twitter to actually launch an official Twitter app for a platform that is so widely used. Isn’t it a massive opportunity lost? But then, considering that  Twitter makes no money, it appears to be a “better late than never” kind of a thing.

[via Crackberry]

Microsoft OfficeTalk Microblogging Service Takes On Twitter, Yammer

Microsoft has been working on an enterprise microblogging service called OfficeTalk that will network you with your colleagues for strictly corporate discussions. While the service is indeed inspired by Twitter, the service, when it launches, can be more of a threat to Yammer – a Twitter-like service for enterprises.

OfficeTalk is being developed by Microsoft’s OfficeLabs and the company concedes that the service, in its initial stages now, does resemble “other services”.

While the service does fill a critical gap in corporate communications, we wonder why it has to be “under 140 characters or less” – this criterion appears redundant even on Twitter given that the service is no longer dominated by SMS based communication.

What do you think?

[via ReadWriteWeb]

Twitter Advertising Model To Be Rolled Out Next Month

There was a lot of anticipation over Evan Williams’ keynote at the South BySouthwest Interactive conference yesterday. However, while there were interesting revelations regarding Twitter’s new @Everywhere announcement, nothing was revealed about the thing everyone wants to know – How Twitter finally plans to make money?

Now, it appears that Twitter’s ad monetization model could be unveiled in mid-April during Chirp, Twitter’s developer conference scheduled for a month from now.

If the timing of the announcement is indeed set for Chirp, we wonder if that could mean that there could be some sort of revenue sharing feature with the developers. Could we be seeing another Adwords/Adsense ecosystem in the making with Twitter?

[via All Things D]

Social Gmail Not Just About Sharing Status Messages

Google is likely to make an announcement regarding “social services” in a few hours. The blogosphere is already abuzz with rumors about Gmail, by letting people share links and messages can be a Twitter killer.

If the rumors doing the rounds are to be believed, it would simply mean assorting all the GTalk status messages from users and displaying it the way Twitter displays tweets. While this can be something powerful, it is definitely something that Google would buzz about before making a launch.

So, what could be expected in today’s launch? Our assumption is that it could be much more. The Gmail window serves an important function of delivering the latest emails; something that is too important to many users to be tinkered around with status messages. What we see is an aggregation of the users’ social network activities – including Facebook, Twitter, Orkut as well as messages from Gmail on to one platform. The simplest place to begin would be iGoogle which is already the users’ customized homepage which could now be the one-stop to aggregate all of the users activities.

As should be obvious, it is entirely speculation and our own take on what could be coming. What are your views on this?