Twitter eyes paid 'premium' service for power users

Washington - Twitter has begun surveying members on a paid subscription service that would give frequent users more tools for using the social network for marketing, journalism and other fields.

The survey this week showed Twitter is looking at building a more powerful version of Tweetdeck, the dashboard that many use to manage their accounts.

An upgraded Tweetdeck would put Twitter in competition with third-party services for social media accounts such as Hootsuite or Social Flow, which allow users to manage multiple accounts and measure the impact of their messages.

"Twitter is considering offering a more advanced TweetDeck experience, with more powerful tools to help marketers, journalists, professionals, and others in our community find out what is happening in the world quicker, to gain more insights, and see the broadest range of what people are saying on Twitter," survey participants were told.

"This premium tool set will provide valuable viewing, posting, and signaling tools like alerts, trends and activity analysis, advanced analytics, and composing and posting tools all in one customizable dashboard."

The company, which has been struggling to boost its membership and keep up with other fast-growing social networks, did not immediately respond to an AFP query on its plans.

In the survey, participants were asked if they would be willing to pay $4.99 per month for the advanced tool, and were asked if other price points would be acceptable.

The tool, if deployed, "will be designed to make it easier than ever to keep up with multiple interests, grow your audience, and see even more great content and information in real-time," according to the survey.

"It would also offer extra features such as advanced audience insights and analytics, tools to monitor multiple timelines from multiple accounts and from multiple devices, including mobile, all in an ad-free experience."

Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research said the new tier of service may provide a boost for Twitter.

"I've thought for a while that some kind of premium subscription service would be a great way to allow the heaviest users of Twitter to pay for the value they get out of it (while potentially avoiding ads), and serve as a useful additional revenue stream at a time when Twitter's ad revenue has been stagnating," Dawson said in a blog post.

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