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Social pipeline for sale!

21st Apr 2008
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The market research industry is coining it - but for how long?

The monetisation of relationship networks may have started, with the news that Rocketboom founder Andrew Baron put his Twitter account on sale.

Boasting some 1,500 contacts, Andrew slapped the account on eBay after concluding that he wasn't using it the way he wanted to. Deciding that it would be a waste to simply delete the account, he opted to make it available through the online bid site for "someone out there that had like interests and had something to say or wanted to get involved in some relevant conversations."

The value of a Twitter account with 1,500 contacts? Well, the bids topped $1,100 before the auction was seemingly pulled (almost certainly due to the privacy implications).

As Leon Benjamin has pointed out, this could be the first indication of the monetary value of a network of relationships.

In the meantime, I'm sure we'll be seeing the social network sites rushing to amend their privacy policies and terms of service to stamp out further account sales such as this. But if a market for these accounts really starts to boom then it could prove difficult to control the trading of networks of relationships altogether.

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