Microblogging site Twitter is believed to be considering introducing a new paid membership service designed specifically for businesses and those considered to be ‘power users’.
In recent years, the company has struggled to attract new users to the platform, and as of the end of 2016 had a user base of 319 million active users. This has seen it overtaken by Facebook-owned photo-sharing service Instagram, which has more than 500 million users.
In an attempt to overcome this plateau in users, Twitter has been carrying out a number of surveys in order to assess the interest in this membership idea.
Should Twitter decide to go ahead with this option, paying members would be given access to an enhanced version of Tweetdeck, which is an interface designed by the company that offers much more functionality than the regular Twitter platform.
Amidst all of the speculation, there has been no indication of whether the enterprise intends to introduce paid memberships to regular users of the site. However, the introduction of premium memberships could hand the company with a new revenue stream, which would very welcome at a time where many consider the company to be in turmoil with its plateaued active user base showing no sign of growth and users turning to other social networks such as Instagram and Snapchat in increasingly large numbers.
Just as worryingly for the company, its main income stream, advertising, is showing a decline. These problems have come despite the online advertising market significantly growing in recent times.
The company has stated that it has surveyed a selection of its users about the idea of premium memberships, and has explained that it regularly conducts research and collects feedback from users about their Twitter experience, and to inform about product investment and enhancement decisions.
For this idea, it is using the feedback to explore different ways in which it could make Tweetdeck a more valuable platform for professionals who currently use it.
Twitter explained to the selected users that the platform would provide them with a valuable set of tools to assist with viewing and posting, which would include alerts, activity analysis, trends and advanced analytics tools, as well as options related to composing and posting all in the one dashboard that could be made customisable for the user.
Should this go ahead, this would put Twitter in competition with other established tools such as HootSuite and SocialFlow. These have been offering users enhanced ways to utilise the social network for many years.