Twitter burning $115,883.88 a month?

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Today’s FT article estimates Twitter is sending – conservatively – 70,000 text messages a day across its service. If, as Ed French commented on this blog, each text costs a minimum of 1p to send, Twitter is burning through 700 quid a day or $1,379.57, or $38,627.96 a month. It could in fact be three times as much if they are using a more robust SMS gateway service which costs more like 3p a text, or $115,883.88. All this for (apparently) no return since there is no advertising on the messages, none on the web pages (as far as I remember, since today the service is down because of all the media attention it’s getting) and no subscription business model either. As I said before, Twitter is really onto something here, especially the API aspect, but now I’m wondering if this isn’t just starting to smell like a dotcom era story. The one thing in their favour right now is great mojo and press, and an ability to capture the community. They just need to work out what to do next – the hard bit. Or maybe they just sell it for squillions and someone else has to…

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