San Francisco, CA – Twitter co-founder and CEO Evan Williams today announced part of the company's long-awaited business model: Twitter Premium accounts.
Twitter has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception, but up until now it has remained a mystery what it would do to generate income. Many have speculated that premium accounts would be one way, and now that has been confirmed.
Williams explained, "Celebrities and large corporations have begun flocking to Twitter for their social media needs, and growth has accelerated. Many users have expressed willingness to pay for accounts, and now we give them that opportunity."
Williams stressed that free accounts will still be available to all users, and that only those wanting more services would pay. Premium accounts will come in four tiers: Sparrow, Dove, Owl and Eagle.
The details of the accounts are as follows:
- Sparrow ($5/month) – Users get 145 character limit, 5 extra random followers.
- Dove ($15/month) – Users get 160 character limit, 25 extra random followers, 1 random celebrity follower, auto-spell check, "Fail Whale" T-shirt.
- Owl ($50/month) – Users get 250 character limit, 100 extra random followers, 2 random celebrity followers, 30 minutes on recommended list, auto-spell check, "Fail Whale" hoodie.
- Eagle ($250/month) – Users get 500 character limit, 1000 extra random followers, 3 celebrity followers of their choice, 5 hours on recommended list each month, Twitter Concierge for Tweeting while user is asleep or busy (and more), auto-spell check, "Fail Whale" tuxedo, custom "Fail Whale" page when service is down.
Users in any tier will be able to purchase an EmbellishTwit add-on for $100/year, which directs tweets to a well-educated offshore employee who will embellish tweets. For example, "Just had a whole wheat bagel and coffee for breakfast," becomes "Just got in from clubbing all night and Heidi Klum is spreading brie on a baguette just flown in on the Concord for my breakfast."
Rumors of a even higher level of service the secret "Black" account, which has J. K. Rowling, Stephen King and other famous authors write your tweets have not been confirmed.
Analysts peg Twitters value near the GDP of Canada.