What If Twitter Wants More Money?
It surprises me that everyone says that Twitter doesn’t have one. Because it does – a little slice of the pie from every SMS sent and received in the US (and those sent in the UK, given that we’re sensible and don’t have to pay to receive SMS on our handsets). And no, I don’t have the numbers to hand that would let me work out if it’s profitable or not, but my gut feel is that it covers a significant portion, but not all, of the costs.
So if Twitter was to open a stream, I’d think they would be best to look at the ‘Freemium’ service, similar to the Pro membership available on Flickr. I think fighting for more advertising dollars, in a mobile, portable, short format is not going to work. After all how easy would it be to strip out links to ads in clients such as Twhirl (unless of course, the third party client gets a 5% kickback… just a thought). Advertising on mobile browsers is still proving incredibly tricky to achieve, so I doubt that the tight confines of the microblogging service would provide a reasonable click through.
The numbers from Twitter Japan on the ads on a boxout on the Twitter.jp website may well have a bearing here, but if the main service needs to earn cash, I think that asking the users who like the service to cough up $20 a year should be more than enough.
The question is what would you want to have for being a premium member? You either have to limit some of the services already existing (perhaps user uploaded wallpaper?) or add in something new that’s only for the payees… you could joke about stability but some sort of priority on message delivery could be an option?
What else can we come up with?