zahid lilani

Is Twitter Really Following the Money?

Social media powerhouse, Twitter, an immensely popular microblogging website has decided that it’s about time they make money. It has been widely criticized throughout its recent growth for not monetizing even though it has 44.5 million monthly visitors.

Yesterday, September 10, there was a change in Twitter’s Terms and following was added:

“services may include advertisements, which may be targeted to the content or information on the services, queries made through the services, or other information….. In consideration for Twitter granting you access to and use of the services, you agree that Twitter and its third-party providers and partners may place such advertising on the services.”

This change in Terms is a sigh of relief for Twitter investors but for most Twitter addicts like myself, I still have doubts whether showing advertisements on Twitter pages is a viable option. Most people use TweetDeck (dekstop) and HootSuite (web) to access their Twitter accounts because of added functionality and ease of use. I personally go to Twitter only to see who is following me and if I would be interested in following that person.

The way I see it, the only viable option for Twitter is to charge the most popular users. Let’s take a look how this can work out.

Twitter user A signs up. Twitter user A is very interesting and within few months has few hundred followers. As soon as Twitter user A tweets, there is a buzz, there are clicks to to the links posted etc. Seems to me like Twitter user A is benefiting and likes the response.

How about charging this Twitter user with a monthly fee? Keep it low, have a threshold and provide better tools to monitor and analyze Twitter traffic and anyone will pay a small fee. Oprah will gladly pay monthly subscription of $9.99 or even $19.99 for her 2 Million plus followers. As a matter of fact, Oprah should pay that amount of money every month just to have a verified account.


There are number of very influential people on Twitter who are only famous today because of Twitter, Oprah is not in that bunch. They would gladly pay a small amount of money to keep up with the increase in their popularity and to gain access to special Twitter features, wouldn’t they?