Twitter to remain free in Japan
Twitter Japans announcement of a paid model was a misunderstanding.
Kenichi Sugi, chief operating officer of DG Mobile – who is responsible for Twitters operations in Japan, was misunderstood during a speech at a mobile conference in Japan. For those able to read Japanese, a blog post was released earlier.
The story as initially reported appears below:
The model will cost only for premium Twitter accounts, such as celebrities or those offering news, educational content and original media. Under the model users will be able to view some text on all tweets but pay to unlock full text, certain images and URLs.
Starting from January, the model will allow users to pay per tweet or on a monthly subscription payable via credit card, carrier billing or top-up cards available at convenience stores. According to local reports, access will cost between JPY100 ($1.27AUD) and JPY1000 ($12.70AUD). Twitter Japan will take a 30% share of revenues generated.
In terms of Twitter, the model itself is perfectly legititmate in that Japanese people always considered mobile content as something they would pay for. Its been recognised that mobile initiatives would be paid for through mobile billings, so this is nothing strange, said Ken Shimada, founder and CEO of Infinita Inc – a Japanese mobile research, consulting and development firm.
The move comes as Twitter co-founder Biz Stone predicted 2010 would be the year Twitter became profitable.