Nearly a year ago, I blogged about the trial balloon Biz Stone and Twitter were floating at the time, pointing to a future of Twitter-based business services to support everything from multi-user Twittering to customer service tweets.
Now, Mashable has revealed that Twitter is indeed moving in this direction, launching the Twitter Business Center into beta with a select number of testers.
What will this enable?
It’s not entirely clear what the scope of the business toolkit will be, but early indications are that it will include the ability to put multiple users onto one account (so that marketing, communications, executive office, and membership can all tweet under the brand’s Twitter identity), as well as the ability to respond to any follower whether or not the business follows that person (a meaningful shift for customer service inquiries and responses, since currently following has to be mutual for messaging to occur).
Companies will also be verified, which will create a time period reminiscent of the .com land rush of the late 1990s, when everyone wanted to own as many names as possible.
What Twitter will charge businesses for these new services hasn’t been disclosed, nor is the timeline specific, but it seems like a step in the right direction both for Twitter’s viability and for the short-message information age.
And this all may still fit with a big advertising play — certainly, there’s more to come from this potent little company.