Twitter to roll out paid business accounts next year

By Justin Mann on November 24, 2009, 4:00 PM
Twitter's goal to become a money-generating enterprise is one step closer to completion. The company's co-founder, Biz Stone, said the service would begin to offer paid services for companies starting next year, granting subscribers access to unique services in exchange for their money. Stone went on to say businesses will not be obligated to begin paying for Twitter use, but the "special" services will be more than worth it. Unique tools like statistics and feedback would help large companies get an idea of just how effective Twitter is for advertising or customer communication purposes.

Stone cited potential uses for the planned paid services, such as airlines being able to analyze data from customers who subscribe to their Twitter feeds. In addition to those paid services, Twitter also has plans to begin licensing their content and streams to other websites, opening doors to work with news or media agencies down the road. Stone envisions news agencies using live Twitter feeds as part of their newsgathering, something that may be of use to a world where real-time news has substantial value.

Generating money isn't the only problem Twitter faces. While the service has a substantial user base, it has dealt with customer bleed from the beginning. The user retention issues do not help the claim by some, such as Nielsen, that the service is just a passing fad. Twitter also deals with a negative reputation in the workplace, where many businesses see it as a waste of time. It may be difficult to convince a company that it is a service worth paying for if it's something commonly banned in the workplace to begin with.

If Twitter can solve those concerns and manage to begin selling paid accounts, they might be able to convince the world, as well as their investors, that they can overcome their financial difficulties and questions over value. From an outside perspective, it seems to me that Twitter is still a dangerous prospect. People may lose interest, and without an audience, Twitter will not survive.




User Comments: 14

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Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Twitter is looking to make some big money on the big popularity of its service, I don't even use twitter and its free.

matchu said:

Twitter is so cluttered. Why would anyone want to make that worse by subscribing to an airline's account? You'd get so much junk on your home page...

saintbodhisatva said:

...Stone envisions news agencies using live Twitter feeds as part of their newsgathering, something that may be of use to a world where real-time news has substantial value.

This could work, but tweets may be to short for it, which makes it prone to miscommunication and misinterpretation, especially if the news context is of critical importance

Puiu Puiu said:

I rarely use websites like twitter, facebook, myspace or other sites like that. I tried to use them more often but i quickly grew bored and stopped using them. But do visit websites that show funny pictures that users upload there. Why do people feel the need to make a fool of themselves on the internet by uploading stupid things under their real name?

Nirkon said:

I'm glad to see twitter has found a way to make itself profitable,

I just hope they are not stepping on any user privacy lines with these 'special tools' and statistics.

BlindObject said:

I really don't understand how twitter got so popular...

yorro said:

The so called "special" statistics ain't that attractive, yet.

LightHeart said:

I don't use Twitter and I have never quite understood it's appeal. You can write a short blurb of text instantly, so what. In most cases that text is meaningless and in many cases it's a link to a web site; why not just go to the web site to begin with.

BlackIrish said:

It must be Microsoft trying to sabotage Apple by paying the delivery company to "drop" the boxes prior to delivery :p

In any case, this will decrease the revenue from the Apple Tax, which is by all means good

swilllx2p said:

Yeah, I to see twitter as just a fad that will pass with time. I like many others really never saw the big appeal in twitter in the first place. Many other sites already had more functionality than Twitter, If i owned it I would of tried to sell it while it was at its peak.

levar said:

BlindObject said:

I really don't understand how twitter got so popular...

I'm trying to figure that out too, I don't remember in 08' when I signed up for twitter, it was just a site to send updates to ur friends, then it evolved into more got so popular companies are willing to pay up just for a name, celebrities come in now they brought in verified accounts, competitions are the next thing very popular, trends, everyone just started using after that I don't get it..... seriously speaking if they can actually solve those concerns idk, you might never know you might just be looking at tiwtter updates going across the tv screen lol

fref said:

@BlackIrish

I think you posted that comment under the wrong story...

fref said:

As long as they keep the service free for home users, I think it's a good way to increase revenue. Businesses are used to paying for that sort of thing anyway.

jerry53 said:

i knew that this was coming,make something new make it famous and roll with the money.personally i dont think that twitter is very bad and i really love the fact that i can connect to famous personalities.

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