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Twitter to add money making features

'Analytics Dashboard' to target business customers, generate revenue

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Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told reporters in Mexico City this week that the company expects to add revenue generating features to the microblogging site in the fourth quarter, according to a report from Bloomberg.com.

After a year or more of speculation by bloggers and financial pundits on ways that Twitter could generate revenue, Stone on Tuesday said the company is building an 'analytics dashboard' designed to help businesses keep track of what is being tweeted about them.

The dashboard is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

Although Twitter has garnered massive attention from its use by well-known tech bigwigs, companies like JetBlue, and personalities like Oprah Winfrey and the women of The View television show, the company has yet to generate measurable revenue.

Just last spring, Stone told Computerworld that since the company has plenty of venture capital funds available, there's no rush to create a business plan focused on generating profits.

"It's not tough for us because we have a lot of money in the bank and patient investors [and a] patient board," Stone said during the April interview. He said at the time that Twitter wants to focus first on expanding its network, increasing its user base and adding new features to the site. "We want to focus on this before profit. If we focus on profit, then we take people away from focusing on features."

According to Bloomberg, Stone said businesses may be willing to pay for the dashboard features, which would first be offered on a limited basis. He also said that no pricing decisions for the dashboard have been made, according to the report.

Online pundits and bloggers have been closely eyeballing the company and criticizing the lack of a Twitter business plan. Some have doled out dire warnings about the future of the microblogging site unless it comes up with a viable revenue generating strategy soon.

The company has been adding other features recently as well.

A few weeks ago, Stone announced that the company is working on enabling Twitterers to follow tweets based on location. Twitterers, for instance, could keep track of what's being tweeted in their own town or the location-based tweets could help them track what's happening in an area hit by a tornado or military attack.

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