Twitter, Facebook & Monetization: A Tale of Two Social Networks

Last week both Facebook and Twitter reported their quarterly earnings. Facebook did better than expected and sent its stock up. Twitter also beat expectations but a slow growing user base sent its stock down. I wanted to see if I could come up with a few new monetization ideas for Twitter from their existing user base even though I’m sure they are way ahead of me on this. Today I want to compare the user’s main page/news stream on both Facebook and Twitter.
First, a look at Facebook’s page. Right off the top you see an ad in your stream, a few ads on the bottom right side, suggested things to like on the right and still more content Facebook wants you to see on the top right in the form of current news items. Further down my stream I get promoted content every few posts.
My Facebook stream: promoted content everywhere

My Facebook stream: promoted content everywhere

Now twitter: one promoted tweet, one promoted “trending” hashtag. That’s it, even further down my stream. Occasionally I see a promoted “who to follow.” I never see more than one promoted tweet in my stream.
My Twitter stream: promoted content hidden on the left

My Twitter stream: promoted content hidden on the left

Theoretically there is balance between user generated content and advertising content that should be maintained in order to keep users happy and prevent them from leaving. Users talk about being angry about “invasive” Facebook advertising but not many of them leave Facebook because of it.
As a user, I hate to say it but maybe it’s time Twitter added more promoted content to its main page.
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