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Pay for Twitter? A subscription service for power users could be in the cards

In a potential move that could bolster revenue for the social media service, Twitter is reportedly considering the rollout of a paid subscription service for power users.

While the company may still be several months off from launching such a service, information seen by a number of users this week suggests it’s interested in creating a “premium service” version of  TweetDeck “with more powerful tools to help marketers, journalists, professionals, and others,” The Verge reported.

TweetDeck is a free online tool that helps power users of the social media service manage multiple accounts. Twitter acquired the startup behind it for around $40 million back in 2011.

The plan to monetize TweetDeck came to light on Thursday when screenshots started appearing on Twitter showing a mock-up of the proposed service. It included an explanatory message sent by the company to select users as part of a survey to gauge interest.

The message said the premium service would offer users “valuable viewing, posting, and signaling tools like alerts, trends and activity analysis, advanced analytics, and composing and posting tools all in one customizable dashboard.”

It will also “make it easier than ever to keep up with multiple interests, grow your audience, and see even more great content and information in real time.”

Other features that would also be part of the paid-for package include “insights and analytics, tools to monitor multiple timelines from multiple accounts and from multiple devices, including mobile, all in an ad-free experience.”

Presumably a free, basic version of TweetDeck would remain for those who want to continue using it.

Responding to an inquiry about the possibility of relaunching TweetDeck with new features and paid subscription options, a Twitter spokeswoman said, “We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of TweetDeck.”

She added, “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.”

Although it could still be a while before we learn if Twitter decides to offer a paid-for service for power users, regular users needn’t worry about ever having to pay for the core service.

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Trevor Mogg
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