For a while now, there has been talk about Twitter starting commercial accounts. That piece of news has now been confirmed by none other than Twitter’s co-founder, Biz Stone.
During a talk with the BBC, Biz Stone said that Twitter was looking at starting commercial accounts. He was, of course, quick to reassure users that “Twitter will always be free to everyone. But you will be able to pay for an added layer of access to learn more about your Twitter account – get some feedback, some analytics, become a better Twitterer.
It is expected that these commercial accounts will be introduced before the end of the current year.
Biz Stone also said that the firm was considering the possibility of licensing and syndicating their data. He feels that giving away their real-time data feed to search engines like Bing and Google would help those search engines provide a better search experience.
While Twitter showed a phenomenal growth curve from just 4.75 million users to 7 million between February 2008 and February 2009 (according to Nielsen Online), its growth has now slowed down, at least in North America.
Mr. Stone, however, countered this by saying that from an international and mobile perspective they continue to grow very fast.
He reminded users that Twitter had initially started out as messaging service, which was later extended to the Web. He expects most of their future growth to come from mobile.
In fact, an earlier report leaked from the company showed that they hope to have 1 billion users by 2013.
The introduction of paid accounts will not only bring about some direct monetisation, but will also generate more interest among businesses and marketers, thus helping further growth.