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Struggling to nail down a reliable revenue stream while controlling its often-irate user base, Twitter may soon charge you to use some elements of its currently-free service TweetDeck.
Outed by The Verge, the social networking company is engaging with users through a survey to “assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version” of the web app.
“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,” a company spokesperson told the site.
This “advanced Tweetdeck experience”, as Twitter dubs it, will boast “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”.
TweetDeck could become a paid-for but extremely powerful Twitter app, as the company considers revenue options
This means that services like post alerts and composing updates on the app itself may soon be hidden behind a paywall, but comes with added benefits of in-app analytics features from Twitter’s Dashboard.
Although not integral to average users of Twitter, TweetDeck has revolutionised how power users of the social network engage with its often dizzying levels of information. Twitter bought the UK-based company in 2011, and has since rubbished the original Adobe Air-based version, the actual Windows standalone program, and has moved to a web-based app.
In its original Adobe Air form, the app also allowed users to view trending topics, and view embedded Instagram, TwitPic and other services’ media.
The company hasn’t explicitly stated that there’ll be two future tiers of TweetDeck though — a free and subscription service — so we can’t confirm that Twitter is shutting the service’s doors to non-paying customers. It’s only hinting that a shinier version could be released to cater for companies and power users.
Marketing speak? Indeed.
We can however say that Twitter can’t continue losing financial ground to its competitors for much longer. Perhaps this is the remedy it has needed all along?
Feature image: Tetue via Flickr (CC 2.0, edited)