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March 24, 2017updated 29 Jul 2022 3:37am

Twitter looks to paid membership as ad revenue slows

Social media giant Twitter has announced that it is considering adding a paid membership option.

By Joe Clark

Twitter is considering adding a paid membership version to its social media platform, the company has said.

Paying members would gain access to additional features on the platform, including an enhanced version of TweetDeck, which was acquired by Twitter in 2011 for $40 million.

The paid membership will be aimed specifically towards businesses, news organisations, and power users in order to give them more control and insight into their performance on the social media platform. The company has not made any comment on possible changes to its regular service.

In an email to selected customers the company said: Twitter is considering offering an 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.”

“This premium tool set will provide valuable viewing, posting, and signalling tools like alerts, trends and activity analysis, advanced analytics, and composing and posting tools all in one customisable dashboard.”

“It 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.”

In recent years Twitter user growth has slowed year on year and ad revenue has been in decline, down to $638 million in 2016 from $641 million in 2015. The addition of an enhanced paid membership could provide a new stream of revenue.

Despite the substantial growth of the online ad industry last year, many advertisers have moved to other social networks such as Facebook and Snapchat.

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Twitter surveyed a section of its user base in order to determine the reaction to such a change.

In a statement Twitter said: “We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make TweetDeck even more valuable for professionals.”

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