#RIPFreeTwitter trends as MTN pulls plug on free service

2018-09-22 14:38

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A furore erupted on Twitter on Saturday after MTN announced that its free Twitter service will come to an end.

"Overall usage trends towards video and images have determined that it is no longer feasible to offer it for free due to the cost and demand it places on the network," MTN SA executive for corporate affairs Jacqui O'Sullivan said.

"Twitter was originally intended as a quick and snappy way to stay connected with the world – within a 140 character (now 280) limit. It has since evolved into a platform that is video and image intensive, making it no longer feasible to offer this as a value-added service to our customers," she said.

The service was offered for four years after starting as a 90-day promotion in May 2014.

"MTN first gave people the free platform to experience Twitter, which then had a relatively small local following. At the time, the whole of South Africa only had 5.5 million Twitter users. To date, MTN has more than double that number on our network alone," O'Sullivan said.

In August, the number of free Twitter users stood at 13m, using 1.9 petabytes of network data per month.

"It has been fabulous to see so many people enjoying the service for the past four years and we accept that Sunday tweeting will not be the same. While we know our free Twitter users will be disappointed, we hope they will enjoy the next four days of free Twitter, before a phased shutdown of the service will start," O'Sullivan confirmed.

MTN's Twitter and WhatsApp bundle price and size will also change as of October.

Weekly WhatsApp bundle rate increases from 100MB for R5 to 250MB for R10. The daily offer increases from R1 to R2 but changes from 20MB to 50MB.

The Twitter daily bundle will go from R1 for 20MB to R5 for 100MB and the weekly rate will change from 100MB for R5 to 500MB for R20.

"While our pricing has increased, we were mindful of ensuring that our offering remained competitive and affordable. In line with this, both offerings still provide great value in the market," O'Sullivan said.

Read more on:    mtn  |  twitter

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