Biz Stone Is Following His Bliss

Biz Stone doesn’t hate advertising. He merely finds the more crass forms of commercialization off putting.

The idea of taking money to run traditional banner ads on has always been low on our list of interesting ways to generate revenue. However, facilitating connections between businesses and individuals in meaningful and relevant ways is compelling. We’re going to leave the door open for exploration in this area.
Do we hate advertising? Of course not. It’s a huge industry filled with creativity and inspiration. There’s also room for new innovation in advertising, marketing, and public relations and Twitter is already part of that. In fact, next month I’ll be attending and speaking at the 56th annual international advertising festival, Cannes Lions 2009. I’ll let you know how it goes.

It must be nice to have Stone’s hand–to be able to choose between “interesting” and non-interesting paths to the money. Of course, the problem with “interesting” is what’s interesting to one, is often anathema to another. American Idol, for instance.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. This guy’s full of shit. 90 percent of the tweets on Twitter could be categorized as advertising. Stone’s probably trying to figure ways to monetize his service somehow, as it’s probably too late to start charging people just to be on Twitter. He should sell Twitter sooner than later, before its true lack of revenue-generating power becomes too obvious to potential buyers. Traditional online ad units (banners, etc.) won’t work because Twitterers have already filled the space with their own ads in the form of links and tips.

  2. I don’t think Biz is full of it.
    This is in part a design question. Twitter is minimalism at its core. So splashy, blinky banner ads would be way out of context. If you’ll note, they’ve already gone to a Google AdSense-like solution by running text ads on the sidebar for 3rd party Twitter apps. So it’s not ads their against, it’s thoughtless intrusion.

    “facilitating connections between businesses and individuals in meaningful and relevant ways”

    That sounds a lot like the kind of advertising I want to make and also see.

  3. Actually, meant to communicate that the majority of tweets ARE thoughtless intrusion and clutter. I would bet cash money that the “Google AdSense-like solution” is already being ignored by Twitterers.
    Twitter is no longer minimalism at its core. It’s becoming another message board. The individual tweets may seem minimalistic, but when you have an endless sea of them, it’s just noise.
    “facilitating connections between businesses and individuals in meaningful and relevant ways” – that sounds like old school adspeak. And it is.

  4. Oh, and he’s also going to speak at Cannes. Totally old school adspeak.