The Future Of Twitter And Mobile Coupons

It’s an ever-growing trend, people searching online for coupons from their favorite stores and brands. In this economy, it’s as popular as ever, but one place people tend to overlook for deals, is Twitter.

Brands have flocked to Twitter to interact with consumers, and one way of doing so is to offer coupons in their Twitter feed. Consumers follow the brand’s Twitter feed which in turn comes up in their user-timeline, which is a feed of the latest updates from everyone a user is following. As the user checks updates, coupons from their favorite brands appear as they’re posted.

The outcome is a direct (and completely free) distribution method for brands to extend their offerings and messages to consumers. “Twitter Coupons” have become so prevalent, in fact, that a trio of startups have already launched that aim to find, organize and even distribute the best coupons and deals on Twitter.

Coupon Tweet finds and organizes “coupon tweets” in real-time and reports them in a familiar Twitter-stream-based user-interface. The founders say they find an average 1,500 coupon or deal-related tweets out of the some 4-5 million daily tweets on Twitter. Out of those, roughly 500 make it onto to the Coupon Tweet website.

CheapTweet is similar to Coupon Tweet in that it scours Twitter in real-time for coupons and deals, but differs in that it also allows users to vote the “deals” up and down using a Digg-like social-interface. Instead of finding and organizing deals and coupons found on Twitter, TwtQpon allows users to create “Twitter Coupons” using a very simple form, your Twitter login credentials and a short coupon based on 140 characters or less.

The underlying benefit to the massive growth of “Twitter Coupons,” is the fact that not only is it a free and highly targeted form of direct advertising for large brands, but also the perfect platform for the advancement of mobile coupons.

Twitter has been mobile since its inception, and a slew of mobile applications and WAP-based Websites have already been created to make Twitter a very usable mobile service. With nearly 1,500 coupons entering Twitter on a daily basis (and growing), the opportunity for savvy marketers to turn their Twitter Coupons into mobile coupons is growing by the minute.

Twitter users are already comfortable with reading and updating their Twitter feeds on-the-go with Twitter iPhone and Android applications, Java apps, Twitter’s own very simple mobile Website, and a myriad of other ways. By incorporating a simple link to a mobile Website via Twitter coupons, users could redeem the coupons as soon as they see it in their update-timeline.

I see this becoming a huge benefit to mobile coupons, and one that might finally help bring the technology into the spotlight. We’re still very much in the beginning stages, but already the benefits and potential are overwhelming. 1,500 new (mobile) coupons per day entering Twitter? I’d say opportunity has never knocked harder.