Twitter has announces it was considering charging companies using its services. Co-founder Biz Stone has not been much precise on how the company will proceed to start charging companies, nor about the cost it might be.
Actually this announce is very important as it is the first move of the start up toward setting up a true business plan. So far the company was focusing on growing the community and secure a high quality service. But with the economic downturns, Twitter might have had to speed up their reflection on how to monetize the service.
The only problem is that some companies have already started using Twitter for free, and are reluctant to have to pay for something they have for free right now. Therefore, Twitter, in order to make some companies pay for the service need to work on the value of the service.
Indeed, why should a company be on Twitter? Is it for the innovative way to communicate, thanks to this micro blogging format? Actually I don't believe in it. I think it would be very easy for an international company to create its own micro blogging website to give updates to customers.
Now is it about the Twitter's community. Actually, this is one of the main way to evaluate the potential for a web 2.0 company: how many people I can potentially interact with thanks to the service. And that isn't a good news for Twitter that Facebook is aiming to compete with them. Facebook is way more popular so far than Twitter, and has advanced feature that allow a better segmentation than Twitter.
A lot of questions remain unanswered about Twitter's way to leverage its service and set up a viable business plan. I believe Twitter should right now think a little bit more about how to sell its product, to get companies' awareness.