The co-founder of Twitter Biz Stone has confirmed that Twitter plans to charge businesses for extra services. There are few details or dates. But that’s the question in all of our minds—especially the investors who put $20 million into Twitter and I assume want to see a return.
No doubt Twitter has proven its value—TechCrunch wrote that Dell made a million over the holidays by using Twitter to tell people about discounts and sales.
There are said to be anywhere from 4 million to 6 million people using Twitter (LinkedIn.com is said to have over 20 million users and turn a profit). The problem with monetizing social networks is that people don’t go there to buy, but to communicate. Plus, they’re used to getting everything free. Even Dell’s VP was quoted as saying that Twitter better keep it simple and inexpensive if they do plan to charge.
All I know is that the folks at Twitter seems to be taking their time, and their investors seem awfully patient and generous in this climate. They don’t seem too worried but say a plan is coming soon. In the meantime people are building services and charging for them (like Twitterific).
Twitter is now the third-largest social network says Compete—and still growing. The networks we’ve built on Twitter are valuable to us, but how valuable? Will people migrate to another free service if Twitter charges?
I would pay as a cost of doing business. My cell phone plan charges me $5 a month for text messaging and I rarely text for business. After a few large bills I gladly signed up for the subscription plan. I’m in a habit of texting (and Twittering), so I pay.
I would pay to use Twitter, would you? What business services would be valuable enough that you would pay for them?