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The Japanese version of the site, which already operates slightly differently to the other Twitter sites around the world, is understood to be introducing a tiered payment model that will charge audiences to view tweets from premium Twitter accounts, says Media Asia.
Kenichi Sugi, chief operating officer of DG Mobile (a subsidiary of Twitter Japan investor Digital Garage), announced the changes at the Mobidec2009 conference earlier this week. He said that Twitter would be adding paid subscription options from January 2010 – which would allow account holders to charge audiences for access to their tweets, links to external websites and images.
There is just too many free alternatives. If a celebrity starts charging a subscription to their tweets, then folks will just subscrible to Joe Schmos free summary of celebrity x's tweets. I see a whole new world opening up for tweet news sites reporting on what is being posted in subscription tweets. And since the tweets are often just a sentence or two, I believe fairuse would allow them to be quoted as a reference. Maybe someone else knows more about the legal side of this.
any of these big social networking sites starts charging, there'll be free copycat sites that will step in and replace them. Well, of course, the copycat sites are already there, but they'll suddenly be boosted when the crowds move to them instead.