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Don't look for that "tweet" cash

November 8, 2013 - Craig Howell
Twitter went public this week, offering up its first batch of stock options with the price promptly skyrocketing to around $45 a share within a few hours.

The company isn't known to have a good track record of bringing in revenue since there are few advertisements and the services are free to anyone with a valid e-mail address (or two).

That has never stopped people from trying to figure out just how much their Twitter accounts would be worth. Celebrities especially look at the value of their Twitter feeds, it seems, and some have even turned it into opportunities to bring in some sponsorship dollars, promising to post positive notes about a particular brand or product in exchange for the almighty dollar. That's all well and good, and if that's how someone wants to leverage their fame and their millions of followers, then I suppose it's their prerogative. Keep in mind, though, it's not Twitter paying them.

Along with the first batch of Twitter stock options, a few enterprising individuals at Time magazine thought it would be interesting to create an application to estimate a monetary value for Twitter users in the event Twitter actually would pay us for our posts. Using a formula I still don't quite understand, the app takes into account how long a profile has been active, how many followers a person has, how often they tweet and several other characteristics. It also takes into account the claim by Twitter of 200 billion tweets posted through the social networking site each day and the company's $24.9 billion value at the end of the first day of trading.

Actor Patrick Stewart, for example, would be owed close to $14,000, while singer Katy Perry would receive somewhere around $4.4 million.

Those are both very nice chunks of change, and with millions of people following these celebrities, I wondered what a regular person would be able to rake in. A few of us at the newspaper discussed this on Friday afternoon, with some discovering they would be owed $7, others $17, and one person would bring in less than $1.

Personally, according to the online value calculator, my work profile @CHowellWDT is worth a whopping $19. Not bad. It can at least buy me a couple of meals. My personal Twitter account, on the other hand, which is locked and won't be listed here, would only bring in $9. I guess I know where my social networking focus has been lately.

You can check out your own Twitter feed's "value" by visiting the following website and entering your Twitter handle:

But whatever the value, don't get too excited. This is one occasion where the check really isn't in the mail.


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