Affiliate marketers and affiliate networks are beginning to notice the benefit of the service as well. For example, Brian Littleton, founder and CEO of ShareASale, recently began a "Twitter experiment" with his affiliate network in an effort to judge Twitter's ability to transform network-to-affiliate communication. Brian announced the experiment both on the ShareASale blog and on ABestWeb and offered affiliates a chance to join Twitter and receive instant updates from him regarding network offers, payouts, and other news from his network.
The ShareASale team has attracted dozens of affiliates to its Twitter network since the middle of January. These affiliates are regularly posting and communicating about industry news, offers, and their own lives and they have created quite a unique community in just a few short weeks.
Here's what Littleton had to say about his Twitter experiment: "Improving communication between affiliate managers and affiliates benefits both parties, as well as ShareASale, who stands in the middle. We are constantly looking for new ways that we can facilitate good communication, on a level playing field. Affiliates don't like to be constantly harassed, and merchants often don't know to what extent they should extend their help."
If you extend this argument, you can see how Twitter could be a powerful communications tool for business groups that need live interaction. Everything from sales and marketing teams to IT could use Twitter to both check their teammates' availability and to extend their workflows into real-time mass collaboration. And you can achieve all of this while users access Twitter on both mobile devices and desktop PCs with no additional platforms or investment. That's a truly seamless application experience.
Twitter could affect the live events business, too. Imagine being able to get real-time updates from all of your business contacts at a big show like CES, CTIA, or Interop. I saw a few people Twittering at the last CTIA, but I expect to see many more at future tech shows.
I also expect to see Twitter and Twitter-like services make their way into online live events, too, where real-time Twitter boards could enhance the level of interaction for happenings like Webinars and videocasts.
What do you think? Can you see Twitter adding value to your business? Or is Twitter nothing more than the latest Web 2.0 flash in the pan?