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Twitter Considers Charging For Commercial Accounts

     
5:48 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Twitter Considers Charging For Commercial Accounts [telegraph.co.uk]
Twitter could start to charge companies a ‘membership fee’ for using the microblogging service to connect with their customers, according to co-founder Biz Stone.He said that an increasing number of businesses were using Twitter to engage with consumers, and that introducing a fee for corporate use could be one way of monetising the service, although he did not say how much that fee would be.

“We are noticing more companies using Twitter and individuals following them,” Mr Stone told Marketing. “We can identify ways to make this experience even more valuable and charge for commercial accounts.”

Mr Stone said that Twitter had no plans to start charging individual users.

5:51 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Here's a penny for your Tweets. ;)

It's about time. Expect the typical fallout, rants and raves, it is a given. Expect a bit of migration to other platforms but in the long run, I think it is a winning solution to monetizing the Twitter platform.

6:15 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Era of easy money is long over and there is very little VC money floating around these days. So, some of these web 2.0 startups are gonna have to earn their lunch, pay their rents, pay salaries to their employees and so on. Looks like the whole business model of a lot of these web 2.0 sites will be tested in the coming 12-18 months.
6:49 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think even hard core twitter users would be willing to cough up a nominal annual connection fee which would possibly thwart some of the twitter spammers.
6:58 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Messages in this thread should be no longer than 140 characters if you expect to be taken seriously, demonstrating a grasp of the subject...
7:59 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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With the current financial situation, these new startups like Twitter will need to demonstrate their ability to get into the black as quickly as possible. The proposal to charge businesses for Twitter accounts seams to make sence.

I think they also need to look into providing additional tools for business accounts.

Another area Twitter could explore is commercial application development for businesses wishing to use Twitter via their API.

Mack.

8:07 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It will be interesting to see how they differentiate between individual and business accounts. Sometimes it's obvious (Coca-Cola, IBM, Apple), but in others it isn't (Joe the SEO, Fred the IT consultant, Larry the law-firm owner, Ilene the travel agent).
9:09 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Good question I was going to post it
how do they figure it out, or already figured it out?

Even better it is an option that I could add to a future release of mine

9:48 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It's easy to figure out.

Does your twitter account appear to be business oriented and link to a business oriented site? BUSTED!

If your twitter account is just full on nonsense, as most are, you're probably safe.

10:45 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I heard tell on NPR, maybe 12 to 18 months ago, that Digg was looking to adopt a 'free-mium' (read: free + premium) model of business in order to monetize the fanatics and addicts who make up the base users. I believe the intention was that the vast majority of the content and features would remain free but certain areas and features for power users would be available on a subscription basis. I've yet to see this model gain traction or hear stories of businesses successfully changing over...

This may be one of those ideas that sounds good on paper but ends up killing a good site.

Edit:
Would you really pay to use Twitter for your business or would you instead pay to have a similar feature added to your own site?
At what price point would you decide it was better to add to your site versus pay the Twitter subscription fee?

[edited by: HugeNerd at 10:50 pm (utc) on Feb. 10, 2009]

11:01 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Correct me if am wrong:
aside keeping in touch, what are/could be the benefits from a biz stand point of view?
gain of exposure, if so how much?
it has to be exposure; any IT guy will be swifly able to make some sort of "contact/what are you doing" application.
Again since I am not much of a twitter guy, I might pass on many obvious benefits
11:36 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Twitter is a fad. They should start selling something sooner rather than later, because their users are likely to jump on the next shiny bandwagon just as soon as it comes along. Charging for commercial accounts strikes me as a sensible idea.
12:04 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I heard tell on NPR, maybe 12 to 18 months ago, that Digg was looking to adopt a 'free-mium' (read: free + premium) model of business in order to monetize the fanatics and addicts who make up the base users. I believe the intention was that the vast majority of the content and features would remain free but certain areas and features for power users would be available on a subscription basis. I've yet to see this model gain traction or hear stories of businesses successfully changing over...

If you look at the top, left hand corner of this website, you'll see the logo of a site that's been doing this for years.

(Not that I think Brett makes a living off those subscriptions, but it prolly covers the cost of hosting and a few beers a month).

For "business" users of Twitter, I can see a Wordpress model where they'll host the service, but attach it as a sub-domain of a business site. Useful for marketroids.

I dunno, though. I think they're in trouble. The cel companies up here (Canada) massacred them in this region with fees, so no more cel phone updates from Twitter in Canada. If the US cel carriers get uppity, they could get wiped out in the US as well. Twitter survives at the whim and mercy of Big Telecom. Big Telecom isn't generally known for benevolence or mercy.

If even one of the big Cel companies gets uppity, Twitter ceases to exist.

12:50 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I say charge 1 cent per tweet for all ... then we can have PPT (pay-per-tweet) advertising ;)
12:52 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If even one of the big Cel companies gets uppity, Twitter ceases to exist.

It would still work on the iPhone as twitter apps on the iPhone don't use sms.
1:22 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If your twitter account is just full on nonsense, as most are, you're probably safe.
My feelings exactly Bill I don't have time to waste on twitter so to me it is useless.
1:42 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If even one of the big Cel companies gets uppity, Twitter ceases to exist.

There are lots of apps for most phones out there that install on your phone and send the messages over the web as opposed to sms. Also, if you visit Twitter from your phone it logs you into a mini version of twitter, designed for phone displays. Again no sms required.

TBO I dont see why any of the cell companies should have a problem with Twitter, every time a Twitter user sends an SMS to twitter they make money. Twitter is also going to introduce a lot of people to the mobile web, as a result the cell companies can sell data plans.

For the phone companies, it is a win win.

Mack.

3:09 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Does your twitter account appear to be business oriented and link to a business oriented site? BUSTED! If your twitter account is just full on nonsense, as most are, you're probably safe.

But how do they automate the process? Have a list of commercial phrases like "deals," "service," and "consulting" plus another list of idle-chatter phrases like "my kids," "my cat," and "my dog"?

7:07 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A label 'personal twitter' on the twitter page would suffice. It would look 'bad' to be using 'personal twitter' for a business purpose; not really bad, but bad enough to justify paying a bit to remove it.

Then, add in groupware support so that your organisation's twitter page can have multiple author accounts, differentiated administrative permissions and an internal moderation or publishing queue.

2:46 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Could someone indicate a legitimate business Twitter? I don't know of a single one.

[edited by: engine at 2:03 pm (utc) on Feb. 12, 2009]

3:12 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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According to Twitter [blog.twitter.com], they are NOT going to start charging anyone anything for what they are already using.
3:15 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think even hard core twitter users would be willing to cough up a nominal annual connection fee

doubt it; the true traffic-driving power exists in the retweet; although retweets are more likely to be posted if a person with tens of thousand of followers originates a tweet; if you have a number of friends that you can have retweet your post, imho the effect can be just as server crashing.

the tweet of one person, even with over ten thousand followers doesn't drive much traffic. and not everything they post is retweeted.

4:53 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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from the horse's mouth - twitter blog [blog.twitter.com]

However, it's important to note that whatever we come up with, Twitter will remain free to use by everyone—individuals, companies, celebrities, etc. What we're thinking about is adding value in places where we are already seeing traction, not imposing fees on existing services.
4:49 pm on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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(Not that I think Brett makes a living off those subscriptions, but it prolly covers the cost of hosting and a few beers a month).

I am aware that the free-mium model is being used (and that 'successfully' is a very subjective term) on websites. I should have been more clear and said that I am not aware of it being used as a commercial success -- whereby 'commercial' means it is generating revenues which exceed overall costs and allow for profits great enough to produce viable P/E ratios thereby mullifying nearly insatiable investors and boards..

11:23 pm on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I agree it would be ideal especially since they would have to provide new features and more innovative solutions to us business owners to get us to pay to use their paid service instead of the free one.

[edited by: Aaron_Kocourek at 11:24 pm (utc) on Feb. 18, 2009]