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Would Twitter Charge You for Friends?

Would You Pay?

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[ Social Media]

Making money wasn’t always the greatest concern for the founders of Twitter. It’s success in terms of business interest practically came by accident, mirroring the thoughts of this post from Shomemoney.

Everyone loves to speculate about how Twitter will make money though, and now that they have someone to lead the way in that department, it seems like a more relevant topic than ever. Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web (who likes to use Twellow) shares some interesting thoughts on the subject, citing this tweet from Jason Calacanis:

Jason Calacanis Tweet

It’s about Twitter’s new friend suggestion tool (pictured below). Kirkpatrick writes:

Who says you can’t buy friends? $1 per user who takes the suggestion and opts in to getting messages from @JetBlue or @Zappos? That could happen. Could those companies keep their freshly purchased friends? Only if their Twitter output stayed interesting!

In order for this to work, Twitter is going to have to make these recommendations a lot more prominent in the user experience and it’s going to have to increase the quality of the non-paid recommendations. Right now they don’t look very exciting to us. We like to search Twellow to find interesting new users to follow.

Twitter Friend Suggetion

 Twellow is free by the way.

The concept is interesting, but I’m not sure how widely it would catch on with users. People have a hard enough time seeing why Twitter is useful to begin with, when you throw charging for friends into the mix, I don’t think a whole lot of people are going to be too ready to jump on board. Certainly there is a niche of people that will be – mostly bloggers looking for the latest scoops. But perhaps that niche is big enough to make a substantial amount. Of course there is also the problem of not knowing where these scoops will originate from (see Hudson plane incident).

We’ll see what "business development guru" Kevin Thau has in store. Now that he is in place (and other important jobs are awaiting filling, we can probably expect to see something of a revenue model come along in the not-too-distant future.

Would Twitter Charge You for Friends?
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  • http://allaroundus.blogspot.com/ PG

    No, I wouldn’t pay for friends. I use Twitter as a fun, free little mini blog tool and it’s not so important in my life that I couldn’t do without it. Or, as is more likely, I would start using any alternative free programme that would inevitably sprout up as soon as they started this.

  • Kamaraj Retnasami

    Facebook, LinkedIn, and now Twitter? Give me a break! Too many social networking sites! It’s starting to confuse and irritate people at the same time. Facebook and LinkedIn are enough for me.

  • http://www.rtek2000.com/total-training-solution.html Guest

    I am in Linkedin only where all pros are gathering together (and “collecting” the friends without need sometimes).

    Facebook, etc are the web sites that are attractive for hackers and how many of them do you need actually?. Hey people, wake up! There is a life on this Earth without computer. Look around you!

  • http://www.all4data.com All4Data

    Hi seriously would not pay for friends

    the value of twitter is totally subjective and is truly something that to me comes across as a business module

  • http://www.snerdey.com Snerdey

    Too many free ones and heck no I would not pay to follow or pay to be followed that’s just wishful thinking on their part. I’m sure many would just move on without twitter. Sure, I like the concept of the twitter world but paying to follow .. no way. If they want to make money with it should have had that in place long time ago. Why not just sell banner or ad spots everyone is used to those ;)

  • http://www.Capstone-Ministries.org Wayne

    I would not pay to have followers, nor to be a follower. As I think back on my starting with Twitter, I know I would never have done it if there were following fees involved. This would be the death of Twitter. They better come up with a better way than this to creat revenue. I enjoy Twitter, but don’t NEED Twitter. First attempt to charge me anything and its bye-bye!

  • http://www.SanDiegoPreviews.com Roberta Murphy

    On the other hand, Twitter and other social networking sites need revenue. Corporate sponsorship and intuitive ppc advertising advertising are possibilities, as is a reasonable annual subscription model for businesses and power users. Someone with 10,000 followers is not likely to bail.

  • http://www.thelostagency.com David

    hello, since ive just started using it, it could be quite profitable im happy to take paypal payments for following you… maybe it could just be an offer from RedBull or 7-Eleven for free products…?

    i think that if they moved to the system, some of the social media addicts such as http://twitter.com/ChrisSaad would find that this cannot end well.

    why not just sell it to Murdoch he is good at making money out of stuff, eg after $100/month for cable TV, they will charge you $60 for a new remote to use the service if yours stopps working… since the remote wasnt new when you got it can i bet i cant keep it…?

  • http://www.howtovideolearning.com Albert F A Matthews

    Well who is it aimed at i dont think its aimed at the small internet marketer but the people who would buy such a thing is the one,s that buy leads on the internet but $1 come on ho do you know they are worth it or not just gonna leave next week i think its all a big joke myself and il leave it to the big guys because i dont want no false followers twitter.com/ebookgalaxybiz

  • http://twitter.com/Jim_in_SC Guest

    CNN is the reason for Twiiter.com’s success.

    I would NOT have even known about them if it wasn’t for CNN.

    I would not and will NOT pay for the use of Twitter.

    I will delete my account if they decide to charge.

    Check Out Our food program to Feed Hungry Americans.

    http://www.jimbonham.com/LFP.html

  • http://www.foleyinternetmarketing.com Dan Foley

    Social networks have gained popularity by being “social.” Having to pay for friends or followers isn’t exactly flattering and the idea of social networks is not for users to monetize everything.

    If a person (or company) needs to buy friends or followers then maybe that person or company needs to do a self evaluation and revamp its thinking.

    The bottom line for me personally is no, I wouldn’t pay to follow or be followed.

    I’m sure that the bright people at Twitter can figure other ways to monetize their site.

  • http://www.level343.com/article_archive/ Gabriella

    Sign me up. There are many other ways of making money. If it would benefit our buying power why not? If it can bring about what the people want? What if you could raise money for a good cause? There are many angles we could go with this.. Granted you have to be a humanitarian, but why not? There are a few of us out there that look at the bigger picture. The good for the world. ***getting off my podium*** :)

  • http://tabithagracesmith.com/ Tabitha “Tabz” Smith

    I have paid for other social networks (LiveJournal, Facebook) and I would totally pay for Twitter because I’m a power user. I believe there should be some sort of basic service for free – but for people who really heavily use Twitter why not a $5 subscription service? People forget that “free” services still cost bandwith and servers for someone. If I’m using the service I should be willing to pay some of that bill.

    • http://www.stonerscolony.com FaTe

      being willing all very nice but if a service is said to be free then no expectations can be held towards the users for users regardless of cost.

      Paying for friends…why not just join the rest of the internet on porn webcam sites and pay to talk to some “friends there”, The twitter service was free and should continue to be so

    • http://sit888.com//changeprofile/View_profile.php?profileid=1 sit888

      We should pay and enjoy the social networking sites as everything that involve these sites cost money. I am also a power users and i love it to have these benefits.

  • http://sit888.com//changeprofile/View_profile.php?profileid=1 sit888

    If one of the large social site have started, i think all others are going to follow and have the same concept for their users.
    There used to be a lot of free stuff on the internet not anymore, now days sites will give you a free trial for a while and you have to pay after the trial period. Pay for Friends? maybe, depending on who they are and how much I value their friendship.

  • http://www.linnetwoods.com Linnet Woods

    To me, the idea of paying for friends, whether in bulk or individually is revolting, as is the idea of having my friendship purchased by someone else. On the other hand, I’d be perfectly happy to pay $1 per month or $10 per year to use Twitter’s services.

    Where do people get off on the idea that we should expect someone to provide us with facilities, allow us to complain and demand in turns and then charge us absolutely nothing for their time and resources? There ain’t no free lunch!

    In return for paying my subscription I would expect Twitter to stay away from all advertising and other non-subscriber activities – I would much prefer to be one of many people paying a small amount each to converse in an ad free zone than be bombarded with advertising in exchange for a ‘free’ subscription. If it was more money than that many probably couldn’t afford it, including me, but less wouldn’t make it worthwhile.

    To me it seems obvious and if, as a side benefit, charging a small subscription sent a whole bunch of free-loaders scurrying out of Twitter then so much the better!

  • http://free.naplesplus.us Kenneth Udut

    I like using Twitter, but charging is a bit of a tricky thing.

    Most people, I suspect, would rather deal with cluttering advertisements than to pay for a service.

    Nothing wrong with having “power user” options that you pay for though, just so long as they’re not “in your face” or done in such a way that it makes you think that you’re missing out by NOT paying. That smacks of the “free trial” idea that is always a turn off. -Ken, who utilizes the ability for search.twitter.com to find local posters and keywords on http://free.naplesplus.us – making use of Yahoo Pipes, which is a wonderful combination.

  • http://www.freelancephotog.com ME

    No way would I pay for friends on Twitter.

  • http://www.myseogal.com carla

    I just signed up for Twitter about a week ago and it was confusing at first. I didn’t get what the hype was about, can’t say that I get it now either.

    I like it but not enough to pay for it.

  • Guest

    I’m not paying for freinds … now come on. This reminds me of the little kid who wants friends so bad that they buy kids things so they will hang out with them. Give me a break. I don’t even know what Twitter is.

    If you want to make new friends for free, visit my new blog http://hack08.bravejournal.com/. I’ll be your friend for free.

    For those of you who want to get your site or blog exposed to hundreds of hits per day, have your banner placed on my homepage for only $5 per month. Where else can you find that deal?

    Go see my homepage here http://www.HacksWholesale.com

    contact me at sales@Hackswholesale.com to get your banner displayed.

  • http://www.donmargolis.com Don Margolis

    Although I have a decent amount of “friends” on Twitter, my “friends”, still seem to be allergic to my stem cell sites like http://www.repairstemcells.org

  • http://a-thai-village-homestay.weebly.com Eric

    Over the Net there are so many avenues that you can gather friends for free, why do we have to pay for it!

    Friends can be made here while you travel – http://a-thai-village-homestay.weebly.com

  • http://nepalsites.blogspot.com nepalsites

    i think that is a lame idea o come up with. pay for friends. there could be sort of advertisements based on popularity, but to pay for friends is just out of the question.

    http://twitter.com/nepalsites

  • http://www.marketingwithpaul.com Paul

    Paying for friends? I believe you should give friends value and help when they need it! You should’nt buy friends though.

    In my latest twitter post I mention how I was ranked #1 in google! You can follow me at paul_moore.

    Twitter is a great tool, I wish the twitter folks the best of luck, but you should’nt pay for friends!

    Paul Moore

  • http://yoyopeblog.blogspot.com yoyo

    I think this is just waste your money for pay some friends to join or follow your twitter.

  • http://hadikurnia.blogspot.com Kurniawan

    Twitter never charge for friends. I don’t like it. So far I’m using CIAO from MIcrosoft. Its really fun

  • http://www.firmalatter.dk Ejvind

    This is amazing. Why is everything about money?

    Once again it seems that money is the strongest motivator in the world. Money can make you do anything – even look for “friends” in cyberspace.

    and now they want us to pay for our “friends” – well – good riddance.

  • http://www.frontware.com Frontware

    Twitter is great as free service. I don’t think there is any business opportunities to make it pay for friends. Should find something else if they want to make money with Twitter.

    • http://www.mobilemini.com storage containers

      Twitter from the get go was not made to be as popular as it is today and they really didn’t think about making money off of this. I think some type of paid ad system will work for them like Google has done for youtube. Some transparent ad that overlaps the tweet. Another option is to make twitter add ons. Say one for enterprise businesses. Twitter is all about communication, they can tweak their API for business use.

  • http://peacerumble.com Chris

    Its all about money, let me go twitter my friends before they turn into dollar signs

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    Not gonna happen and if it does, its not gonna work. People are too cheap to spend anything on the internet.

  • http://internationalbs.wordpress.com/ Andre

    I stumbled across this post that presents one potentially decent source of income for Twitter – corporate memberships:

    http://ceospeaks.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/does-president-obama-need-to-bail-out-twitter/

  • http://www.make-your-own-dance-and-techno-songs.com/ Dominic

    This is the second post of mine on this site with the subject “it was inevitable”. News websites seem to be shocked when this sort of post comes out. But websites become greedy and they eventually wreak the sites that we like. We move on to another site, it becomes popular then they start a payment method.

    The problem comes with one main fact that every new start up business on the net fails to put into their business plans:

    1- Most businesses on the net that set up free services fail to realise that somewhere along the lines you need some income from that venture.

    If you don’t think your business will come successful…then why are you online? Why invest in the technology? It is a very poor business person who fails to think of growth and moniterising.

    The search engines are a great example of this. Yahoo! was the greatest then it was Google…but where did they make their money from, especially Google? You type in a word and then out pops some results…no income for them, yet to make a search engine that is usesful it costs alot of cash…Adsense and Adwords came in to stop the surge of money that went out of the business.

    But it never stopped the user experience. You still got your results.

    Paying for something that we are used to getting free: friends, is a mistake as they are upsetting the user experience.

    Sometimes it takes a mistake to make things better, hopefully they will see sense and not spoil the user experience that made them welknown in the first instance.

  • http://knol.me/hapjak/1 hapjak

    Comment after comment in this thread has said, in so many words,”I’m not going to pay for friends!” and not much else. The proposed monetization plan in question, however, was whether it could work to get BIG DUMB CORPORATIONS to pay for friends so we don’t have to start paying. I for one am entirely in favor of the idea! After all, isn’t that basically what Coke and Micky D’s are good for? Have no fear. The good people at Berkshire-Hathaway will find some way to make their investment pay off, and the rest of us will not be paying for friends!

  • http://www.travelfriend.com.au travel companions

    will never happen. people will just go back to facebook or Myspace. Doesn’t make sense

  • http://www.hireservices.com.au freelance

    Looks like google will be buying twitter so no need to worry about it anymore. Will continue for free and Google will just put their ads to make money.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jhelectronics Follow Me On Twitter

    I don’t go on twitter that much. To have pay for something that I use only once in awhile is not worth paying for. I would just go somewhere else that is free.

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