07 June 2008

+ Zac Martin Just Plurked

I think if you signed up for Plurk right now you'd still be considered an early adopter. Although there is a lot of buzz going around at the moment so get in fast.

I quite like the concept and it seems to out do Twitter in nearly every way.

The only problem is there are no banner ads. No forms of advertising what so ever. Sure in the short term that's great for me and you but how are they going to pay their costs? This becomes particularly important with their exponentially growing traffic.

Like many social networks, they are going to struggle to monetise the site. And by introducing advertising now, you risk alienating your community.

Where does this leave them in the long term?

3 comments:

  1. I had the same thoughts on Tumblr. So I emailed and asked them where they get their money from. They replied quickly and helpfully. Their response was that they don't have any revenue at the moment, they're currently operating off venture capital. Their current focus is to build a committed user-base and develop the platform into something really great. Eventually they'll bring out a set of "pro features", which they'll charge for, and make their money from that. Sounds like a good business plan to me, I certainly hope it works out for them and I can't wait to find out what the pro features are, I certainly wouldn't mind paying them if they come up with some useful features.

    I suspect Plurk is probably in a similar position at the moment. It would be interesting to know how they plan to monetise the service - perhaps you should email them and ask? It probably wouldn't be the best idea for them to place ads later down the track, but maybe that's not the game plan?

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  2. Thanks for the comment Rick.

    I think it's an interesting approach to do it this way. YouTube is in a similar situation, they started with a non commercial approach and since the take over are now trying to develop a more profitable business model. But they aren't really being that successful.

    Perhaps adding a the Pro Features would be different, although I'm not sure this would be a viable option for Plurk. I guess we'll have to wait and see...

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  3. There's certainly a few interesting dotcom startups around at the moment with no apparent monetisation strategy... it will be interesting to see how well they do or if they'll all go bust like in the 90s.

    Google certainly paid a lot of money for YouTube, have you seen anything on how much they're making back off it?

    I suspect that they're not too fussed whether they make a profit off it or not - the fact that they own it is probably enough for them.

    It's such a powerful tool, a household name nowadays. So the last thing they'd want would be to see it go bust, and if they own it, it won't. The fact that the evil competition can't get their greedy paws on it probably makes them immensely happy too.

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