Twitter‘s co-founder Biz Stone has confirmed the introduction of paid-for business accounts at some point in the near future. In an interview with BBC, Stone confirms the rumours that floated around the web earlier this year; “Twitter will always be free to everyone whether it’s commercial or personal. But you’ll be able to pay for an additional layer of access to learn more about your Twitter account – to get some feedback, to get some analytics so that you can become a better twitterer.”
Stone also hinted at the possibility of offering licensing and syndication solutions to companies such as Google and Bing to offer them a real-time feed of data to enhance the accuracy of relevancy of search results.
He also states the potential for Twitter growth is massive and they have set a goal to reach 1 billion active users by 2013, an optimistic one perhaps but from February 2008 to February 2009, we saw an increase of almost 1,400% from 475,000 users to over 7 million so I wouldn’t put it by them to do everything they can to try and hit the target.
Despite its growth and the recent success of securing a $100 million investment, which increased the value of Twitter to around $1 billion, the company is yet to make any profit and critics are quick in pointing out their predictions to how profitable, or unprofitable rather, Twitter actually is.
I think Twitter have been rather clever in their decision to focus on creating a service that satisfies its users and optimizing that service prior to monetizing it, now time will tell whether or not the plans that Twitter have in place will work and if so, to what degree.
You can watch the BBC interview with Biz Stone here. What are your thoughts on the initial plans to offer a paid account type?