Twitter has announced the launch of the @earlybird account, providing followers with Twitter-exclusive deals in entertainment, fashion, technology, beauty, travel, etc. Today marked the first exclusive offer made available to followers, in partnership with Walt Disney Studios. @earlybird followers can obtain a special discount on tickets for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which opens today. @earlybird deals will be offered several times week, directly from Twitter’s advertising partners and from companies like Groupon and Gilt Groupe.
It will be interesting to see what the advantages are for a brand to extend their offers through @earlybird, vs. extending the offer directly to their followers through their own Twitter accounts. Did Disney perceive @earlybird’s advantage to be simply one of reach? With about 50,000 followers as of the time this article was written, @earlybird’s followers are about at par to Disney Pictures‘ 54,000.
While @earlybird is definitely another revenue-generation opportunity for Twitter, one can’t help but wonder if it will deliver a truly incremental revenue stream for large-scale, broad-reaching brands over the long-term; or if this is purely a short-term follower acquisition tactic, at which point brands can target their own followers directly.
[via Twitter Blog]