Twitter is said to be considering a paid subscription option for power users such as public figures and companies, according to various reports.
Ever since Twitter was launched over a decade ago, the social network has been free for all users, supported by advertising. However, collecting subscription fees from certain users could soon become a reality for Twitter.
Twitter Considers Premium Service
According to reports, Twitter is considering building a premium version of its Tweetdeck interface, which helps power users navigate the social network.
Twitter spokeswoman Brielle Villablanca said that the company is now conducting surveys to gauge the interest of certain users in a new and improved 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," Villablanca added.
In the survey sent through an email to certain users, it was said that the premium Tweetdeck will offer valuable tools to Twitter users that will cover various functions, including posting tweets, analyzing account activity and trends, and receiving alerts.
"It will be designed to make it easier than ever to keep up with multiple interests, grow your audience, and see even more great content and information in real-time," the tool was described.
Declining Twitter Revenue
A paid subscription service will provide Twitter with an additional stream of revenue, which the company sorely needs as its advertising revenue has been declining.
At the end of 2016, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asked his millions of followers what they wanted to see on the social network, with four topics showing up as the main themes. For Dorsey and Twitter to be able to address the requests of users, however, it will first need to shore up its bottom line to ensure that it will be lasting long enough.
Will Twitter Charge All Users?
While Twitter is considering launching a subscription service for power users, there is so far no indication that the social network will begin charging all of its users for the service.
Such a move would drastically increase Twitter's revenue stream, though the backlash might be considerable as the social network has always been an ad-supported free service.
If Twitter does move ahead with its planned paid subscription service for an improved Tweetdeck, it will follow the tiered memberships used by other social networks. For example, Microsoft's professional social network LinkedIn offers both a free service and a premium service that offers wider access to information.
A premium Tweetdeck, however, will challenge companies such as SocialFlow and HootSuite that have offered tools for using Twitter.
Recent Twitter News
A recent report on Twitter highlighted the social network's efforts to battle terrorism, as its annual Transparency Report claims that Twitter suspended several thousand accounts linked to terrorist and extremist activities from July to December of last year.
Twitter was also reported to have started testing a new feature that will warn users of sensitive content in their profile. However, the feature has not been met well by users due to the confusion that it is causing.