Twitter eyes paid subscription service for first time

Updated 2017-03-26 10:31:53 CGTN

The social network Twitter is considering implementing a paid subscription service, a premium version of its popular TweetDeck interface aimed at professionals, which will avail users of more tools to use Twitter for marketing, journalism and other fields.

In a statement, spokeswoman Brielle Villablanca said the network was conducting a 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,” said Villablanca.

The spokesperson did not indicate that the company was considering charging fees from all Twitter users.

According to the survey, the service would include “tools to monitor multiple timelines from multiple accounts and from multiple devices, including mobile, all in an ad-free experience.”

Participants were asked in the survey if they would be willing to pay 4.99 US dollars per month for a more advanced service, and whether other price alternatives could be acceptable.

Like most other social media companies, Twitter has focused on building a huge user base with free services supported by advertisements. Twitter said last month that it has 319 million users globally.

However, unlike Facebook, Twitter does not obtain as much advertisement revenue to turn a profit, though it is favored by US President Donald Trump and many other celebrities.

Twitter's revenue has fallen year after year. In the fourth quarter of last year, it witnessed its slowest revenue growth since going public in November, 2013.

Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research said the new tier of service may provide a boost for Twitter.

“I've thought for a while that some kind of premium subscription service would be a great way of allowing the heaviest users of Twitter to pay for the value they get out of it (while potentially avoiding ads),” Dawson said in a blog post.

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