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exectweets.png“Twitter’s great, but it has no business model” is the near-constant refrain that seeks to downplay the sea change in communication the fast-growing microblogging service has brought about, reaching 7 million unique visitors in February 2009.
Today, Twitter announced ExecTweets, created by the Federated Media ad network and backed by Microsoft. ExecTweets basically aggregates tweets from business executives. Big deal? Maybe, maybe not.
The positives: ExecTweets combines some of the best features of other social media tools, including DIGG, Facebook, and Google. The replies are threaded, making conversations easier to follow; you nominate and recommend new execs to follow; and vote interesting tweets and users up the page; search through a tag cloud, and follow @exectweets RSS feed. You’ll also see receive the re-tweets that the community found interesting enough to point out. And an iPhone is expected to be available in mid-April.
By creating an exec-only platform, Twitter gains credibility among CEOs, who like to talk to other CEOs and ignore the riff raff. Of course that’s the same trait that led to the online revolution to begin with! Yet, now that exclusive club atmosphere may embue Twitter with credibility in corporate eyes, and that’s important for advertising and perhaps Twitter subscriptions.
Also, Twitter is encouraging developers to use its open API, to create similar types of platforms like ExecTweets – a move that has helped Google and other now-gigantic online services grow.
The negatives: Very, very few executives are fascinating Tweeters. Between worries about the shareholders, the lawyers, the media and co-workers, few of them actually say much of substance on Twitter or anywhere else online.
Unfortunately, most CEOs are less than fascinating. And, helllooooo, guarded conversation is not what Twitter is about. The fact is, the most interesting, informed, and informative Twitterati tend to be entrepreneurs and consultants.
And, most people who use Twitter regularly – keeping it open whenever we’re online – use one of the tools like Tweetdeck or Twitterific instead of the main site. So we’re not going to interact directly with ExecTweet, or see any ads it runs.
Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see where ExecTweet goes.