I understand that this question is likely intended to refer to game-changing new apps, but at the risk of losing credit for this answer, I will sheepishly admit to being constantly amazed at how ubiquitous Twitter has become while at the same time operating at a staggering loss (or ‘negative profit” as this generation of venture capitalists would describe it). The juxtaposition of a platform at once so powerful and prevalent with the inherent difficulty in monetizing the app will, I think, be a case study for years to come.
Meanwhile, the app itself is proving its worth, as companies are quick to respond to those who mention their brand. Trapped in DC at the airport, I tweeted about the airline’s ridiculously poor customer service at the counter, and within minutes they had responded with an apology. Did they make money? Nope, but they were able to address a concern in real time in the middle of the night.
How Twitter manages to capture (read: monetize) the staggering reach and utility of their app will in many ways define the internet 2.0