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August 21, 2009

Would you pay to Twitter?

Posted: 03:36 PM ET

One question has been nagging at Twitter for years: How to make money?

A piece of the answer to that question was revealed this week as Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told VentureBeat that Twitter plans to start charging for a premium service.

“Twitter will still be free for everybody and we’ll still tell them to go crazy with it,” Stone told the blog. “But we’ve identified a selection of things that businesses say are helping to make them more profit.”

As of now, the popular micro-blogging site doesn't charge for its service. It also doesn't run ads.

Some of the services the company reportedly will charge for:

  • Site analytics, which tell businesses about how people are using their Twitter feeds
  • A "commercial layer" for the social network to be rolled out this year, VB says
  • Certified accounts, so you can know for sure a person or company is who they say they are

There aren't many details about the services available. The interview comes on the heels of the release of a Twitter 101 business guide. And it's another indication Twitter is catering to the business crowd (read: people with money).

But what do you all think? Would you pay for extra Twitter services? Do you use Twitter for business? Feel free to discuss in the comments below.

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scott   August 24th, 2009 4:16 pm ET

Twitter is just Facebook status update.... Whooo whooo whooo Facebook!!!

Shirl   August 24th, 2009 5:35 pm ET

Internet has become our lives and is a great thing, but Facebook, Myspace and Twitter can be dangerous especially to the vulnerable.
I don't use any of the 3 and wouldn't.

beazlebub   August 24th, 2009 6:09 pm ET

no. If I have to pay to tweet, I will just find something else to use instead.

Steven   August 24th, 2009 6:26 pm ET

Yea right, I am going to pay for being annoyed by vapid valueless drivel. As a socialization tool it is only decent....most of the traffic is just idiot speak.

betsy4679   August 24th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

NOPE. Would never be worth it.

big dog   August 24th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

Sure I would pay ....

Twitter is great and if it costs money then ..... why not.

I'm just suprised that it took so long before they decided to charge something.

GTG   August 24th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

To tweet is to be a nuisance. It's no better than white noise, so people should be ashamed of themselves for not spending their time on more important things. Everyday the american public proves themselves to be more shallow and moronic, and once they are caught up in the vortex of what's popular they continue to embarrassingly convince themselves that something is cool; and now, twitter wants you to pay for wasting your own time. What are we becoming?

Mike   August 25th, 2009 12:53 am ET

Please just make twitter go away. And the followers of twitter too.

TR   August 25th, 2009 6:50 am ET


Rasheen   August 25th, 2009 10:01 am ET

No, I still don't understand Twitters appeal. It's like the lazy man's facebook.

Russ   August 25th, 2009 1:30 pm ET


David F Becker Sr   August 25th, 2009 4:00 pm ET

3 years from now it will be "what's Twitter"

slavster   August 25th, 2009 4:45 pm ET

It's the opposite – I would need to get paid to twitter.

Wayne Bevins   August 25th, 2009 7:30 pm ET

For twitter to be a successful business tool it is so important to weed out the 40 or 50% (and growing) which are bots. I think I've found a way to clean out most with websitedevel but it is time consuming.

I would welcome extra optional tools from Twitter – just a matter of how much???

Mike   August 25th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Just like everybody else.., NO !.. Mike in Montana

Girl Genius   August 25th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

Everyone pooh-poohing Twitter obviously doesn't quite get it. That's fine. But imagine asking a question and getting responses from all over the world within minutes. It's magic, and it's not all about vanity and coolness. Sure, there's a subset of people who don't use it very well (and are the types of people most commenters have been describing), but once you learn how to harness the power, it's invaluable. That said, it's a very valuable tool to some businesses, and they should be willing to pay for sure. Why would the average user have to pay? They're not profiting. At least the people using Twitter for personal purposes won't have to pay. 🙂

Robert (MO)   August 26th, 2009 9:16 am ET

Pay for Twitter? Not a chance.

Fred   August 26th, 2009 9:42 am ET

In response to Girl Genius, Message Boards have been doing the same thing for years. They leave a trail of information unlike the twitter that is only for the moment. Totally just a fad for people with nothing better to do...

Daryn   August 26th, 2009 11:29 pm ET

Start charging to twitter and do it soon because the next big thing is just waiting to take advantage of the opening. Twitter will start charging and then fade away as free competitors step over themselves to fill the void. It's about free communication, idiots, not loyalty to some software company.

JessSayin   August 27th, 2009 6:18 pm ET

NO. I don't even use it now.
Signed up but already use Facebook.

Evan   August 31st, 2009 10:58 pm ET

Not a chance.

Marcus Vinicius Pinto Schtruk   September 1st, 2009 10:24 am ET

I wouldn't pay a single penny but I know lots of people who would.

jack phoenix   September 1st, 2009 5:09 pm ET

No, Internet will stay free or people will stop using it.

Lois Shawver   September 19th, 2009 3:47 pm ET

I would pay something, but only if it remained interesting – and it might not be interesting if either most of the Twitterers went away or if all that were left were people who could afford to pay.

So, I believe the idea of charging for extra services is the only way to go.
Good luck, Twitter folks, in finding a path that works for you and for all of us, too. I'm rooting for our success in finding a new path to participatory journalism, being a part of history.

..Lois Shawver
twitter me @jolanza

lostintheflog   September 24th, 2009 6:54 pm ET

There's no question Twitter is in dire needs of a revenue model.

Jaysen   January 11th, 2010 10:23 am ET

Seems unlikely that people would pay, if that was something imposed. There has in fact been an announcement that MySpace may be turning into a 'paid-model'; clear signs of a slump! We think so at TheMusicVoid anyway –

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