In recent news, Twitter, the UK’s third biggest social media platform, have announced that they are considering the introduction of paid features for business and power-user accounts on their platform. This announcement comes alongside recent reports about the micro-blogging site struggling to maintain growth against market challengers such as Snapchat and Instagram.
Twitter highlighted that they would not be introducing paid features for general day-to-days users. Instead these features are likely to be integrated into an enhanced version of Tweetdeck, a interface developed by Twitter that offers much greater functionality over the basic twitter.com options.
But would this move into paid services mean greater revenue for Twitter? It seems almost counter-intuitive that when the platform is struggling to maintain growth in the competitive market place that they would consider charging for features. Surely the best time to introduce these features clearly would have been at Twitter’s peak of popularity when users would have been more likely to pay for these additions. The counter argument suggests that if Twitter can offer a solution for some business and power-user pain-points then it is likely that they could indeed boost revenue as a result.
The major concern is that solution providers such as Hootsuite and Buffer can offer similar functions at a competitive price, whilst also offering these users integration across the suite of social media platforms they use. In-app analytics and tools can be useful for marketers, but are unlikely to replace the need for external providers for those who’s activities span across multiple platforms.
How a premium Twitter account might look
Despite these concerns, Twitter maintain that these new features “…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.”
Online, many individuals are saying they would not pay for additional features for what they see as a failing platform. However, some power users are saying this is long overdue and would be a welcome addition. When asked whether he would be willing to pay for new features, best selling author and influencer Tim Hughes said “About 4 or 5 years ago when Twitter discussed adding advertising, I was involved in a campaign where we stated that we would be willing to pay for an ad free version, or like LinkedIn where you get additional functionality. So for the right functionality I would be willing to pay.”