A new way to make and spend money: TwitPay

There's a new word to learn, and a new form of making and spending money: TwitPay.

Yes,Twitter continues its march toward world domination.The New York Times is reporting that TwitPay is a startup that was created so people can send each other small amounts of cash. As the Times blogger, Jenna Wortham, writes:

"To do this they include the recipients' username in their message. For example, posting the update "@johnsmith twitpay $10 for lunch" would deliver the cash to that Twitterer's Twitpay account. The company monitors the public stream of messages for the keyword 'twitpay' and facilitates the exchange. You replenish your Twitpay account using a site like PayPal. Once recipients have accumulated more than $10 in their accounts, the balance can be cashed out in the form of an Amazon gift card. For all transfers exceeding $1, Twitpay will take a flat cut of five cents."

It's a little confusing, but if you're intrigued, you can check it out for yourself.

Frankly, I'm just fascinated to see that somebody is trying to create a new business spun off of Twitter when Twitter itself has yet to make any serious revenue. Michael D. Ivey, TwitPay's CEO, envisions his new business as being a good place for people to pay each other back if, say, two co-workers went out to lunch, and one of them realized he hadn't brought his wallet along, and so the other picked up the tab. He also -- as he told the Times -- hopes that TwitPay will make it easier for people to donate money during a crisis like Hurricane Katrina. "Ideally, we want to enable social giving on Twitter."

While creating a company that can rake in millions doing it, of course.

Geoff Williams is a freelance journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).If anyone owes him money, or just wants to follow him on Twitter, he can be found at http://www.twitter.com/geoffw

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