“I’ve no doubt Twitter will make money, lots of it, but like Facebook, it will have its work cut out for itself trying to sell anything directly to consumers,” writes Vice President and Principal Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru in a new blog post, in response to the appointment of Nathan Hubbard as Twitter’s head of commerce.
According to Mulpuru, what works best in commerce is something Twitter already gives away for free, which is its tweets. For example, she notes, some of the most successful users of Twitter in a retail context are companies looking to liquidate inventory, or send notes about limited supply of promotions, like the Dell Outlet or Groupon — all done effectively via a tweet. “In many ways, a tweet is like an email title — it draws people into a click with a few sexy words. The challenge is that tweets have the same problem as emails: They don’t make their technology parents any money because everyone gets to use the tools for free.”