I loosely made this point over at Chris Brogan’s blog a few moments ago in an excellent article he has written about the audacity of free – that is, how increasingly people are objecting to having to pay for things in an online world.
A while back I polled my readers about whether they’d ever pay for Twitter. As it stands, only about 25% said that they would.
This got me thinking.
If tomorrow you logged on to Twitter and were suddenly informed that it was now a premium service that was charging $1/month (ongoing) or $10/year to access the service, how would you react? Let’s say you had 30 days to make-up your mind and/or backup your stuff. After that, your account was unavailable – unless you paid.
For me, I’d gladly pay. Twitter is easily worth $1/month to me. I wouldn’t think twice about it. Twitter has an estimated 25 million users, and if everybody saw things like I do that would mean quarter-of-a-billion dollars of revenue per annum. Sure, I’d like to see that money invested back into Twitter – and by that I don’t mean Ferraris for Biz and the gang – but if it would mean the service could move strongly onwards and upwards, I’d be 100% behind it.
The pros of paying for a social network:
- Even at a low rate like $1/month, overnight you’d remove 99% of the spammers, trolls, bots, stalkers and good old-fashioned weirdos
- Because you’re paying for a service using a credit card, Twitter can easily verify you’re a real person. No more anonymity, and the perils that it brings
- Twitter can re-invest that subscription rate into a world-class professional network, and importantly
- It could remain independent
- It cost you $1
Really, I see very little downside. But I’m not the norm. As Chris points out in his piece, many object to paying for anything, especially if they’re used to it being free.
So, here’s my question.
Once you’ve voted, please share your thoughts in the comments area below.
PS. To clarify, Twitter hasn’t made this announcement. I’m just curious how you’d react if they did.
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