After 11 years and over a thousand opinion pieces on whether it should be a paid service, well, Twitter is exploring becoming a paid service – kind of. Since inception, the social network had focused on building a large user base and eventually making money from ads being pushed to its users.
Last month, Twitter reported that it had 319 million users worldwide, but unlike Facebook, it has not been able to successfully attract enough advertisers to turn its user base into actual profit, despite the fact that it’s the communication tool of choice for many celebrities, most notably the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Now, Twitter is considering charging a subscription for a version of TweetDeck: In a survey sent to some power users – marketers, journalists, professionals, the company asked which features they would most like to see added to an “advanced” version of TweetDeck.
2 more notes on ‘advanced TweetDeck’: 1. Monthly subscription fee Twitter is exploring in the survey is $19.99. 2. Complete list of features pic.twitter.com/YEOf9AQ9bt
— Andrew Tavani (@andrewtavani) March 24, 2017
After news of the survey got out, Twitter spokeswoman, Brielle Villablanca, issued the following statement:
“We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of TweetDeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make TweetDeck even more valuable for professionals.”
The survey could be an indication that Twitter is considering a new way of making money outside advertising because the company’s revenues have continued to drop over the past four years. For Twitter, paid subscription for a “TweetDeck for Business” type of service could very well be a smart move.
There is no indication that Twitter is considering charging fees from all its users, so a free, basic version of TweetDeck would remain for those who want to continue using it.