“Twitter : One-to-many real time broadcast”
Twitter has evolved into an efficient online broadcast media that it was destined to be. In fact, Twitter has become a broadcast platform akin to any communication media – i.e. radio or TV. It’s a utility. It’s the reason why Twitter struggles with creating a business model.
Typical utilities charge for usage or bandwidth. Electricity is metered, TV air time is brokered. Twitter doesn’t have a business model in place that creates a simple to explain recurring revenue model They have tried advertising models, even pulled a Daily Deal model called @earlybird because its users apparently thought copying Groupon wasn’t in the innovative spirit of Twitter, but realized the social media doesn’t tolerate 140-character ads. I’m sure they have deconstructed every pay-per-use models like API usage fees or user subscriptions. It’s hard to even name an independent Twitter app that has a business model beyond the freemium model. If one evolved that made consistent money, Twitter would have copied it (for now they copy the functionality of other non-revenue models like Seesmic).
The business beneficiaries of Twitter are simply the brands (and everybody is essentially a brand on Twitter) who use Twitter as the most efficient means of reaching and communicating with a mass audience of even millions. No other social network does this as efficiently because they are either closed (Facebook) or too niche focused (Yelp). Twitter remains enigmatic among social networks.