Twitter, the micro-blogging platform which has attracted tens of millions of users but has yet to make money, has changed its terms to potentially open up the free service to advertisers.
"In the Terms, we leave the door open for advertising," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said in a blog post late Thursday. "We'd like to keep our options open as we've said before."
Twitter, which allows users to pepper one another with messages of 140 characters or less, has seen explosive growth since it launched publicly in August 2006 but has been unable so far to generate revenue.
Stone did not provide any details in his blog post about plans to allow advertising on Twitter, which has received tens of millions of dollars in investment from venture capitalists.
The new terms read: "The Services may include advertisements, which may be targeted to the Content or information on the Services, queries made through the Services, or other information.
"The types and extent of advertising by Twitter on the Services are subject to change," they add. "In consideration for Twitter granting you access to and use of the Services, you agree that Twitter and its third party providers and partners may place such advertising on the Services."
The San Francisco-based Twitter has been looking at various way to make money and Stone said earlier this year that one method could be charging fees for commercial accounts used by businesses to spread messages on Twitter.
In June, Twitter began handing out authenticity badges as a way to verify that people "tweeting" are who they claim to be. Such badges are seen as something businesses might be willing to pay for.
In his blog post, Stone also said that while the new terms allow Twitter to "use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute" messages on the services users own their "tweets."
"They are your tweets, and they belong to you," he said.
(c) 2009 AFP
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