Seth Godin commented on AVC in response to In Defense of Free mentioning Twitter, and that if they had a Twitter Pro account for $2 / month, that it could generate upwards of $240 million per year for 10 million subscribers.

That’s the idea behind the Freemium business model. And it’s a really good one. Especially for Twitter’s situation.

Make there be a Pro account, don’t show Pro’s any promoted content, allow any and all API access, and give them other tools to curate their Twitter use.

I can’t see how this would be a bad thing. I’m not sure that 10 million users would want to sign up for it, but I’d bet tens of thousands would. It may not be the revenue leader for the company, but I think it would pay for itself. And if $2 / month isn’t enough, have tiers with different prices where each tier gets certain other abilities.

Then Twitter could cut off API access for everyone except “official” apps and the web interface. Free users would be forced to experience Twitter the way Twitter wants but those that pay could experience it any way they please. Twitter can do this, they already have an established service, they’d still be offering a free version, and those that whine and complain about the change could make all their own misery go away for just a few bucks per month.

No downside.

I wonder how many people at Twitter had even considered this before Seth said it…

It’d be just like LinkedIn and the fact that everybody in marketing, sales, and recruiting pays for a more advanced LinkedIn account. The free service specifically doesn’t have certain features and the paid accounts are reasonably priced. Bam! Profit. (or at least revenues)


17 July 2012