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Twitter founder reveals business plans

LONDON - Twitter will launch a range of tools later this year aimed at helping both big brands and small businesses use the microblogging service, co-founder Biz Stone has revealed to Revolution.

Twitter's Biz Stone features in an exclusive interview in June's Revolution

Twitter's Biz Stone features in an exclusive interview in June's Revolution

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Stone told Revolution that Twitter's long awaited commercial model is likely to focus on generating revenue through add-on tools aimed at businesses of all sizes, rather than advertising.

"We think there are opportunities to support commercial use," said Stone. "How can we help a small bakery Twittering that the cookies are coming out of the oven and the big company using Twitter for customer support? We will be looking ways to encourage and support this."

Twitter is keen to avoid selling ads alongside tweets for fear of annoying the millions of consumers that use the microblogging service every day.

"The successful brands understand that every interaction with a customer is an opportunity," says Stone. "Engaging with followers using @replies and being mindful or sparing when it comes to self- promotion seems to be the way to go."

According to Stone, the most successful brands currently using Twitter include Comcast, JetBlue and Wholefoods because they approach the "process as a hybrid between customer service and marketing."

Twitter is also believed to be looking at ways to monetise its highly successful real-time search service. "We don't know its full potential, but we have confidence that it is important and useful," said Stone.

Earlier this year Twitter secured $35 million (£23m) worth of funding, and according to Stone, is under no pressure from investors to generate a profit. "We want to take our time and get this right," he said.

Figures from Nielsen Online show that Twitter has seen traffic grow by 1,763 per cent  over the last year to 2.5 million users in April 2009.

For the full interview with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone see the June issue of Revolution, out tomorrow.

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