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Twitter to Charge Businesses?



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.

Others are making money off Twitter.  There are services like Ad Cause or affiliates (controversial) but what about Twitter itself?

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?

  • http://www.reame-informatico.com Giochi Pc

    I would NEVER pay for using a social network !! I think this kind of website are not good for commercial purposes … but i’m not very expert in this . Regards :)

  • Brandon Buttars

    Good for them. I think it’s fine. If I were leveraging a great application like Twitter and made money off of it I would feel guilty not giving them some type of credit. But at the same time there better be some type of business filter in case people don’t want to start getting spammed by businesses. I mostly use Twitter for communicating, not making money so it’s no biggie as long as I can keep doing what I do. This whole FREE movement has to have it’s limits. I can’t believe i just said that.

  • http://www.trishalyn.com Trisha Lyn Fawver

    I don’t think I would pay for it… I’d be happy with the freebie service as it is now. Depending on what the paid options are though my company might.

    Trisha Lyn Fawver’s last blog post..They Say It’s MY Birthday!

  • http://twitter.com/NickStamoulis Nick Stamoulis

    Whenever a new social marketing media becomes popular (Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) there are always people that try to abuse/spam the system.

    I think Twitter should charge money, this will keep out most of the spammers. I have been a paid member of LinkedIn ($20 a month) since 2005. LinkedIn is well worth the money I have paid, I have used it to generate business for my company and it has worked very well.

    Anyway, the way I see it is social networks have 2 choices, charge for the service or display ads. I tend to prefer charge for service, rather then seeing Ads.

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