Will Twitter Start Charging for Use?

There has been much speculation over the last couple of weeks regarding Twitter’s plans for creating a revenue model. Actually, the speculation began when Twitter was started, in 2006, without a clear way to monetize its traffic. But a recent February 10th

interview with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone sparked a flurry of attention when Stone was quoted as saying, “We are noticing more companies using Twitter and individuals following them. We can identify ways to make this experience even more valuable and charge for commercial accounts.”

Stone quickly clarified his position on the official Twitter blog that same night by saying that Twitter will look for ways to create revenue-generating products, while maintaining its current services for free. But it’s still too early to know what types of additional features they will add or what the pricing structure will be.

Nonetheless, the debate is interesting. Some feel that charging for Twitter’s use defies the spirit of the social media platform and that perhaps Twitter should adopt the donation strategy – Wikipedia style. There is an attitude by some that charging for services would stunt the exponential growth that Twitter is experiencing (900% growth in active users over the past year). While others feel that Twitter deserves the right to monetize the traffic that they’ve created through its service. I don’t necessarily believe they “deserve” the right to monetize, but if the folks at Twitter can create value-added premium services that allow businesses to

continue to connect with their current and future customers then they will most certainly be able to start generating revenue.

For anyone who has a business and is new to Twitter, you may want to check out this video. It’s a bit lengthy but does a good job explaining what Twitter is and providing insight into how it can be used for business. Better jump on while it’s free, right?

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