Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) is contemplating whether to develop the first-rate version of its popular Tweetdeck interface geared towards professionals, the company mentioned on Thursday, increasing the probability that it could gather subscription fees from some users for the first time. Like most other social media companies, Twitter since its establishment 11 years ago has emphasized on building a huge user basis for free service endorsed by advertising. Last month it recounted it had 319 million users worldwide.
However, unlike the much-larger Facebook Inc, Twitter has been unsuccessful in regards to attracting enough revenue to become profitable even as its popularity with US President Donald Trump and other celebrities makes the network a perpetual center of attention . Subscription fees may derive from a version of Tweetdeck, an existing interface that assists users navigate Twitter. Twitter is conducting a survey "to assess the interest in a new, enhanced version of Tweetdeck," spokeswoman Brielle Villablanca said in a statement on Thursday.
She went on: "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." There was no suggestion that Twitter was considering charges from all its users. The survey had earlier leaked on Twitter, where a journalist associated with the New York Times posted screenshots of what a premium version of Tweetdeck may look like.
That version could include "more powerful tools to help marketers, journalists, professionals, and others in our community find out what is happening in the world quicker," according to one of the screenshots posted on the account @andrewtavani. The experience could be ad-free, the description said.
Other social media firms, such as Microsoft Corp's LinkedIn unit, already have tiered memberships, with subscription versions that offer greater access and data.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, Twitter posted the slowest revenue growth since it went public four years earlier, and revenue from advertising fell year-over-year. The company also mentioned that advertising revenue growth would continue to lag user growth during 2017. Financial markets contemplated about a sale of Twitter last year, but no concrete bids were forthcoming.