Twitter charging brands decision dividing community
Marketingmag.com.au reported yesterday that Twitter had announced it will start charging brands for the use of its services.
Twitter has since responded to the move on its blog, assuring users that the initiative isn’t something that is going to be implemented yet and purely in the planning stage. It will “remain free to use by everyone—individuals, companies, celebrities, etc” according to the post.
“Weve been thinking out loud for more than a year about the growing use of Twitter by companies, brands, and other commercial organizations. Its great that both individuals and organizations are finding value in Twitter and there may be ways we can enrich the experience. In fact, we hope to begin iterating on revenue products this year,” explains the post.
The initiative has got the marketing community in Australia and overseas in a buzz about how the micro-blogging site would determine what is considered as branding and what is not, along with what rate it would charge.
When Marketing contacted the Twittervese about the subject, we received a number of comments. Bigriveroz tweets:
“bigriveroz @MarketingMag – Rethought about this since yesterday. Charging increases friction for commercial users and will limit spam clogging system.”
Anthony Zaccaria ponders whether or not it is too late for Twitter to start charging brand that have been using the service for a while:
“AnthonyZaccaria @MarketingMag – Is it too late to start charging? So many brands are here. I guess it would depend how much each brand values the service!”
In the UK, Twitter has gained ground due to celebrity users such as Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross.
But many UK users wonder if Twitter will class celebrities as businesses, because they use the service to get their profiles out there, helping them to bank in on their online popularity
Some suggest that companies such as Dell and Starbucks, which use the site, would put more emphasis on the individuals tweeting on behalf of the company.
Robin Grant, managing director of UK agency We Are Social, says, “The challenge Twitter will face is that theres such a grey line between personal and commercial use. If I spend a lot of my time on Twitter talking about business-related stuff, where does that leave me?”
While the company has ruled out any immediate action, it would seem that pressure to have a discernable ROI will have it seriously looking at ways to make Twitter bankable.