Ron Conway: Twitter may outmonetize Facebook

Bambi Francisco Roizen · May 15, 2009 · Short URL:

Angel investor Conway says Twitter doesn't need a business model this year

On Thursday, I spoke with Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway, who's invested in about 500 startups over the past 15 years, including some high-profile ones like Twitter, Facebook, Google and Digg, to name a few.

I conducted a one-on-one interview with Conway on stage at the EconSM event, hosted by contextNext. 

Here's the first part of our interview, in which Conway talks about how Twitter plans to make money or whether it's going to be acquired by Facebook, Google or Apple. 

"I think as time goes on, there is going to be many more ways to monetize Twitter, much more so than even Google and Facebook," said Conway, who doesn't even have a Facebook or Twitter account.   They include charging companies to get followers.  If a company is in the suggested area when users sign up, a company can easily get 10,000 followers in a day. This type of exposure is apparently worth paying for. Conway wouldn't suggest a going rate, but referred to Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis' offer of $250,000 for a suggested spot as a starting point.

Conway also pointed out that paid search is another potential business model, as well as charging companies for an unlimited number of posts. He didn't think that Twitter needed to be in a rush to get a business model this year, however. 

Look for the rest of the interview throughout the next couple days. 

In those segments, Conway talks about his biggest investment disappointment, and the biggest winner he passed up, as well as his outlook on angel investing, entrepreneurs, M&A and IPOs.

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Author of "Unequally Yoked"; Co-founder Vator and Invent Health; Former Columnist/correspondent Dow Jones MarketWatch; Business anchor CBS affiliate KPIX

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