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Businesses Split on Paying for Twitter

One-quarter ready for paid business functionality

April 13, 2010

The powers that be at Twitter have been vague about how they plan to monetize the service. As marketers have flocked to the microblogging site, Twitter has considered charging for business functionality as one possibility.

According to a survey commissioned by Internet marketing solutions company, a plurality of business users of Twitter are unsure whether they would pay to use extra business features on the site. About one-quarter said they would.

US Twitter Business Users Who Would Pay for Business Functionality on Twitter, March 2010 (% of respondents)

Defining what those extra features might be as well as how much they would cost could push less decisive business users into one camp or another. Among respondents who said they would pay, most were willing to spend less than $50 per month.

In addition, 8% of all respondents said they would pay for analytics alone, if Twitter offered that service.

Advertising, another possibility for Twitter monetization, may have more appeal. Businesses were largely uninterested in advertising tactics that would increase their follower count, but nearly seven in 10 respondents said pay-for-performance ads would bring the greatest value for them.

Twitter Advertising Tactics that Would Provide the Most Value According to US Twitter Business Users, March 2010 (% of respondents)

While marketers have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon in large numbers, they are still focusing on quantifying their own social media results. If Twitter does roll out paid business services, companies will be sure to think of their own ROI before shelling out.

Update: Twitter announced its "Promoted Tweets" ad program on April 13, which will include sponsored tweets in search results.

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Check out today’s other article, “Portals Vital for Users and Marketers.”


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