Small company helps Twitter make money (Update)

Nov 29, 2013 by P. Solomon Banda

Twitter just issued its IPO but a lingering question is how the popular worldwide microblog company will turn a profit. One U.S. company thinks it has found one way to help Twitter, and itself, make money.

Wayin has partnered up with the Denver Broncos football team to project tweeted photos and tweets from fans onto the Sports Authority Field at Mile High's Thundervision 2, the stadium's marquee 40-foot (12-meter) high, by 220-foot (67-meter) wide video scoreboard.

The software allows ads to be placed next to the tweets to generate revenue. It's unclear how that could impact Twitter's bottom line. None of the companies would discuss how much money is generated through the deal.

The Broncos rolled out Wayin's software during the game versus division rival Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 17.

The team uses the software to search terms or so-called hashtags to find tweets by category from the thousands sent about the game and then pick the ones to send to the scoreboard and 1,100 television screens throughout the stadium, as well as to the Broncos social media hub on the Web.

"The key is that we're not just going to put up anything and everything because as you can imagine, there are some things you don't want to pull right in," said Sandy Young, senior marketing manager for the Broncos who is responsible for picking the tweets.

It's unclear how many companies such as Wayin, co-founded by Sun Microsystems founder Scott McNealy, are out there striking deals with companies to use the Twitter feed. Twitter declined to discuss the matter.

"It's no secret that Twitter has become the roar of the crowd during televised games, but we're also seeing teams embrace Twitter for the in-stadium experience," Geoff Reiss, head of sports at Twitter said in a statement.

Experts estimate that Twitter makes 85 percent of its money through so-called "native" advertising that shows up on the feed in the form of text, said Michael Myers, a business professor at the University of Denver.

"I think they'll experiment with how to make money," Myers said. "See if someone can curate their content and their data in a format that makes the customer so they don't have to reach out to the Denver Broncos themselves."

All fans have to do is send in their tweets, if they remember to charge their phones before heading to the stadium.

"Back when we had Treos and Blackberries, used to be a three-day battery life," said Evan Woock, who attended the Broncos/Chiefs game Nov. 17. "These days I can't get through a day."

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