At Fon we built Twitxr as an experiment, with the idea to show what you can do with something like Twitter, adding pictures and geolocalization to the now famous 140 text characters. Twitter has an incredible success, with more then 2 million users all around the world. Twitxr itself is also quite successful, and, surprisingly, just like Fon, it was global from day one. Even though we launched it in Spain, only 20% of the users are Spanish, with US and, again, Japan as the second and third country.
I Twitx (pronounced twitch) a lot, mostly from my Blackberry or my iPhone, especially when I’m in special places like in Venice at the wedding of my friends David Kamenetzky and Anna Lena Wetzel, last weekend. I share a lot of similar moments with my followers (I have 333) and the pictures I twitx are instantly available on Twitxr, Facebook, Flickr and my blog, so I save the time and effort to publish them on each platform.
Now at Fon we don’t know what to do with Twitxr. We know we have to get a better design and maybe change its name (as nobody seems to get the fact “tx” should be pronounced “tch”, like in Basque, and that it rimes with picture), but what should we do next? Could Twitxr become a company of its own? How can it make money? Sure, it won’t need to generate huge revenues as managing Twitxr costs us less then a 1000 euros a month. I’m amazed by the fact that pictures come from all over the world: when I look at the global timeline, like I just did, I see photos from Japan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Europe and Latin America. The best way to use Twitxr is on the iPhone, if you have one I recommend you to install it from Installer.app, although Twitxr works great from any mobile phone via e-mail or mobile web, including phones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, HTC and many others.
The issue with Twitxr is similar to that of many other social networks. Its only value seems to be in its advertising potential. Although much of its use actually can’t support advertising: when somebody takes a picture in Twitxr people often don’t see it on Twitxr, but on other websites we have no control on, like blogs, flickr or Facebook. In some way Twitxr is the opposite of Meneame or Technorati, two companies I’ve invested in. These websites get a lot of content from other websites and send back traffic to them. Twitxr instead sends out a lot and gets few traffic back.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars