Some of the best-known names in the London dotcom world are joining forces to cash in on the popularity of Twitter including Peter Read, founder of the Twitter Partners agency.
The agency said that it will help brands, media companies and celebrities to monitor and market themselves on the network, which allows more than 4m users to post 140-character updates to their list of “followers”.
Read has been an angel investor and adviser to a range of digital-media start-ups such as Skype, Metacafe and Babelgum.
He has brought together a “brains trust” of advisers to Twitter Partners, including Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox, founders of Lastminute.com; Saul Klein, a partner at Index Ventures, the London venture capitalists; and Toby Coppel, the former European vice-president at Yahoo, according to the Financial Times.
Other advisers hail from broadcaster BSkyB, music site Last.fm, and advertising agencies Aegis, Omnicom and Razorfish.
Twitter is free to use and does not currently carry any advertising, although co-founder Biz Stone has said that it could charge companies for extra features and support.
However, Twitter has just 30 employees, mainly technical staff, providing an opportunity for it to work with partners on commercialisation.
Read told the newspaper that Twitter Partners, which will be launched this week, will provide consulting, software tools and services to prospective clients, including Virgin Media, Universal Pictures and Bananaz, the new film from the cartoon band Gorillaz.
However, Read confessed that like Twitter itself, his agency is still figuring out how to make money from the service.
One area of interest is “buzz-monitoring”, whereby companies monitor Twitter to see what its users are saying about their products and services. Read worked for eight years at Nielsen, the market research group.
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