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Dear Jack Dorsey, It's Time To Make Twitter A Paid Platform

An open letter to the CEO of Twitter about quality control.

15/12/2016 11:26 AM IST | Updated 26/12/2016 8:52 AM IST
Kacper Pempel / Reuters

Dear Jack,

As of March 2016, Twitter boasted of monthly active users exceeding 310 million. Little wonder, Twitter is referred to as the SMS app of the internet.

Even though some individuals don't think a Twitter handle can solve any family, political, religious, or any other issue, most people agree that Twitter can be very beneficial in spreading news which can be moved faster than sound. If one needs to read any news or just want to verify the credibility of information, Twitter is where one can get the best and most reliable news updates—both local and international—for free. This is mostly because of the bloggers and news agencies who take it upon themselves to give news updates through their Twitter handles with the speed of light, most times beating both local and international press to it. Recent examples are news about India's currency demonetisation drive or the American presidential election.

If individuals and businesses are deriving benefits from Twitter, they should also be charged.

Twitter is also an excellent platform for advertising because of its extensive coverage. However, most people misuse this platform. They spend hours daily fighting with other users, mocking celebrities and public figures and just looking for someone to lay verbal attacks on. Irrespective of that, most businesses still use Twitter as a means of disseminating information.

To every action, there should be an equal and opposite reaction. If individuals and businesses are deriving benefits from Twitter, they should also be charged. It is true that some Twitter users abuse the platform by posting irrelevant content and creating unnecessary traffic. It is also true that while some people misuse and abuse the Twitter platform, some people utilise it for growth and development. Some people got their jobs on Twitter and it's been the foundation of some lasting relationships. Since Twitter can be utilised to add value, there is no reason why it should not charge its users for the value.

By charging its users, one of the benefits that will accrue to the users and Twitter itself is that the unnecessary noise on Twitter will be reduced drastically, making it easy for people and organisations that get and pass meaningful information to make the most of the platform.

Also, Twitter can fully focus on all its user segments, creating unique features for each of them, thereby adding value to paying users.

Some users don't touch their Twitter handles for years. Once Twitter decides to charge its users for the service, these users will be automatically weeded out. The semi- active users will either have to close their account or make the best use of it.

Here are some suggested charges for the use of the Twitter platform per annum: Of-course one can come up with many combination on the pricing, it could be monthly or pay per tweet or maybe charge higher per annum than the suggested price listed below.

  • $5 for active users
  • $15 for influencers
  • $25 for small and medium business
  • $$$ for enterprises/corporations (news channels, big brands, etc.)
The unnecessary noise on Twitter will be reduced drastically, making it easy for people and organisations that get and pass meaningful information

We tend to value what we pay for more than what comes to us free even if that free service is more valuable than the one paid for. Twitter charging its users will increase the value of Twitter to its users. Apart from this, Twitter will become more attractive to new users and investors alike because it will be more capable of providing quality service for each section of its users.

Twitter should not only charge its users, but it should also impose some strict restrictions on the use of the platform. There should be a strict age limit, and there should be a "restraint officers" who will ensure that the restrictions are adhered to. These restriction officers will see to it that products that are harmful to society are not promoted.

If you do decide to take this risk, I believe it will present a win-win situation for both Twitter as a platform and its users. While the users get a service with better quality, Twitter gets an advancement opportunity that will open a financial door to shareholders and help it in creating a unique and enviable brand. Millions are already addicted to this platform and paying for it will not chase users away. It will only attract more users who are looking for opportunities.

People would be willing to post insightful comments on the platform, and these comments will in turn influence the lives of other users. Also, there is presently no social media platform that has this pay-to-use policy (apart from those that provide an opportunity for interested users to boost or promote their posts). This will mean that Twitter will set a record as the first social media platform to implement such a profitable and user-friendly policy.

@BhuvanThaker

Memento Mori by Pablo Bartholomew

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