Is a paid subscription model in the works for Twitter?

We have all seen the junk emails or junk posts on Facebook where a “gullible” friend notifies us that Facebook will become subscription service soon. And those of us that have been around for a very long time realize it is just spam and we have to educate our friend.

Now when we saw notifications about Twitter going subscription, the same immediate “it is spam” reflex kicked in… But this time, there might be something to this!

Twitter has been floundering a bit and it needs to generate revenue. Ad revenue is not enough and most users actually hate ads, so they are looking at other sources of income.

This is especially true for younger audiences and often is cited as one reason they flock to newer social media services.

These newer services operate on start-up venture capital and mostly care about driving up user numbers before going public and having to worry about how to actually make money.

While Twitter may have evolved from the 140 character SMS service to sharing pictures and videos, the fact is many users still use Twitter as a broadcast style texting service.

As such the ability to embed ads is somewhat limited and in turn the opportunity for Twitter to realize significant income from these ads is equally limited.

Tweetdeck to the rescue?

Twitter purchased Tweetdeck and it seems it has been mostly pushed into a drawer at Twitter’s HQ. But that might change now as someone on the executive level remembered they owned Tweetdeck.

For Twitter to actually be able to sell a premium subscription, it will need to offer some premium service besides removing “promoted” tweets. That is where a revamped Tweetdeck would come into play.

The idea being kicked around by Twitter management is to offer a newer version of Tweetdeck with more insight and offer this expanded Tweetdeck powered Twitter as a paid premium version of Twitter.

Professionals that use Twitter for marketing, research, and communication purposes could use insights from Tweetdeck to gain more up-to-date information on what is happening on Twitter.

Right now this paid subscription concept is being surveyed by Twitter among a targeted group of Twitter users they think might be interested in a paid premium service. No decision has been made yet if or when we might see it.

What is your take on Twitter subscriptions. As an eCommerce retailer would you pay to gain more information faster from an upgrade to Tweetdeck?

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