Twitter CEO Ev Williams will answer questions from Harvard Business School’s Umair Haque during the 3 P.M. EST keynote at SXSW today.
Speculation has it that Ev will use the opportunity to finally announce how Twitter plans to make money.
The news might not really be news. Last month, All Thing’s Digital’s Peter Kafka published “the very broad strokes” of Twitter’s plan, citing “people who have been briefed by the company.” He wrote:
- “Ads will be tied to Twitter searches, in the same way that Google’s (GOOG) original ads were. So a search for, say, “laptop,” may generate an ad for Dell (DELL). The ads will only show up in search results, which means users who don’t search for something won’t see them in their regular Twitterstreams.”
- “The ads will use the Twitter format–140 or fewer characters–and will be distributed via the third-party software and services that use Twitter’s API. The services will have the option of displaying the ads, and Twitter will share revenue with those that do.”
- “Twitter will work with ad agencies and buyers to seed the program, but plans on moving to a self-serve model like Google’s, down the road.”
We’d be surprised to hear Ev go into that much detail today. A source briefed on Twitter’s ad plans tell us, “I would have thought they’d need more time,” to get the program ready for announcement.