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Twitter To Launch Commercial Services In 2010

Biz Stone, Twitter's co-founder, has revealed plans for paid-for business accounts that will be rolled out by early next year in a bid to bring much needed revenue streams to the microblogging behemoth.

In an interview with the BBC, the site's charismatic CEO, confirmed that Twitter will always remain free for everyone whether business users or individuals. However, paid-for commercial accounts will, he said, offer a "special layer of access" which will include feedback and statistics.

Twitter is currently valued at around $1 billion after having raised around $155 million over the last two years. However, developing a proper revenue model has been slow to come despite the fact that the service had undergone a massive explosion in traffic since it was founded in 2006.

Analytics firm Alexa shows that Twitter is now the thirteenth most visited website worldwide and has lately introduced a "what's happening" feature.

Stone has also confirmed that Twitter could potentially ramp up its efforts to license and syndicate content with other internet companies like it did with Google and Bing already.

One can guess that Twitter will be going the Freemium way like Spotify whereby most of the basic features will be free and the more exclusive (and useful) ones will be paid for.

Twitter has already managed to recruit more than 6 million users worldwide (that was back in February 2009), a figure that is bound to reach 9-digit figures by the end of next year. Since the beginning of the month, Twitter has also signed deals with Orange and Linkedin.

Our Comments

Most of these have been requested by the business community anyway and will certainly prove to be massively popular. Importantly, the corporate accounts will allow businesses to differentiate themselves from the masses.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.