Twitter may not be making any money as a web service just yet but it looks like it's trying its luck in more diverse fields like wine making. The microblogging service is launching its own wine label today, called Fledgling Wine, in collaboration with the Crushpad DIY winery from San Francisco, Twitter's own home town. And don't worry, things aren't so desperate at the company that it would turn to selling wine as means of making ends meet; the project is actually for charity and a significant portion of the wine's
selling price will go to charity through the Room to Read foundation.
“As a company that's only one percent into its journey, we're always thinking about our long term impact on the world. The Fledgling Initiative embodies two things that are at the core of Twitter's mission: providing access to information and highlighting the power of open communication to bring about positive change,” Twitter cofounders Biz Stone and Evan Williams write
But don't be fooled by the seemingly noble goals, as the materialistic motivation behind the project is soon revealed: Twitter just wants a lot more users and it's even prepared to teach them to read in order to get them. “The efforts of Room to Read will benefit literacy, and in doing so they'll allow Twitter to grow. Because if you can't read you can't Tweet!,” the two added.
Twitter will sell two types of wine, a Fledgling Pinot Noir and a Fledgling Chardonnay, both of which will begin the manufacturing process later this year. The wine will retail for $20, well below the $50 Crushpad claims it usually charges for these types of wines, and $5 of those will go directly to Room to Read. The organization uses the money to fund literacy programs for children in the poorer parts of the world in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia. The wine itself won't be bottled until 2010 but this gives people a chance to participate in the process, from picking the grapes to the actual bottling, with a series of events related to the project.