Twitter is considering whether to build a premium version of its network aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday (23/03), raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time.
Like most other social media companies, Twitter has focused on building a huge user base for a free service supported by advertising. Last month, it reported it had 319 million users worldwide.
But unlike the much larger Facebook, Twitter has failed to attract enough in advertising revenue to turn a profit even as its popularity with US President Donald Trump and other celebrities makes the network a constant center of attention.
Twitter is conducting a survey “to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck,” an existing tool that helps users navigate the network, spokeswoman Brielle Villablanca said in a statement on Thursday.
She went on: “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.”
There was no indication that Twitter was considering charging fees from all its users.
Word of the survey had earlier leaked on Twitter, where a journalist affiliated with the New York Times posted screenshots of what a premium version of Tweetdeck could look like.
Other social media firms, such as Microsoft’s LinkedIn unit, already have tiered memberships, with subscription versions that offer greater access and data.
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