If you have ever asked yourself how Twitter could be earning revenue from its highly popular messaging service then the latest developments at Twitter Japan might answer that question for you.
The development, which is already making the rounds on various news sites such as Techcrunch, Connected Internet or Telegraph.co.uk, is apparently limited to Japan at this point. A country where Twitter displayed advertisement on its page ever since its official release.
The concept itself is simple. Twitter account holders can opt for a subscription based model from January 2010 on which would only give subscribed users access to the Twitter messages by subscribed account holders.
Subscription fees are said to be between $1.50 and $11.50 per month with an option to pay for the ability to view single messages as well.
Billing options include paying per credit card, using the mobile phone bill, or to purchase prepaid tickets.
Techcrunch have posted an analysis why this subscription based model makes sense to be implemented in Japan. Among the reasons are that it is common in Japan to pay for premium mobile and Internet content, or the character sets which allow Japanese users to add more text than Western users.
Japan is also the only country in the world for which a mobile client has been released for (this changed in recent years but was true back then).
It will definitely be interesting to see how this will turn out. I cannot really see this model being adopted in the West even if it succeeds in Japan, considering that most Twitter users from the west are probably not interested in paying a subscription fee to the service.
Many details are yet to be revealed including the technical realization of the subscription model.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.