| SAN FRANCISCO, March 23
SAN FRANCISCO, March 23 Twitter Inc is
considering whether to build a premium version of its network
aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising
the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from
some users for the first time.
Like most other social media companies, Twitter since its
founding 11 years ago has focused on building a huge user base
for a free service supported by advertising. Last month it
reported it had 319 million users worldwide.
But unlike the much-larger Facebook Inc, Twitter has
failed to attract enough in advertising revenue to turn a profit
even as its popularity with U.S. President Donald Trump and
other celebrities makes the network a constant center of
Twitter is conducting a survey "to assess the interest in a
new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck," which is an existing
tool that helps users navigate the network, 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 indication that Twitter was considering
charging fees from all its users.
Word of the survey had earlier leaked on Twitter, where a
journalist affiliated with the New York Times posted screenshots
of what a premium version of Tweetdeck could 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
Other social media firms, such as Microsoft Corp's
LinkedIn unit, already have tiered memberships, with
subscription versions that offer greater access and data.
(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)