Everyone knows that Twitter has been reluctant in seeking revenue streams too aggressively and has just recently moved in this direction, signing deals
with partners like Microsoft and Google and announcing
some sort for Twitter ads come next year. What most people don't know is that the Japanese version of the service not only has ads, and for quite a while now, but it's also close to launching a form of premium accounts, perhaps as early as January 2010. But, they're not the premium accounts we've been hearing of for the
better part of this year, rather they offer the users an option to get paid for their tweets by charging subscriptions for their streams.
DG Mobile, a subsidiary of the local company which partnered with Twitter to offer the service in Japan, Digital Garage, has announced that it will roll out subscription services for Twitter users. Those running services like breaking news or which post mostly original content on the microblogging platform can now monetize by charging for their tweets.
There will be several options for the subscribers, they can pay a monthly fee to get full access or they can buy a prepaid ticket which they can use how they see fit. The can also pay for access on a tweet-by-tweet basis. The pricing will vary depending on what the content provider deems fair, but is expected to range between $1.16 and $11.60 (JPY100 to JPY1000). Twitter will get a very sweet 30 percent cut out of every transaction.
Twitter.jp operates as a very independent service and has had a great deal of freedom in introducing new features but also monetization options. The site offers advertising options which fetch from $5,000 to $33,000 in return of a customized profile page and banner. It has also launched its own dedicated video sharing services, dubbed TwitVideo, which is also operated by DG Mobile. Twitter Japan has just launched a mobile version
of the site last month, a very late move considering the fact that mobile Internet in Japan is much more popular than in the rest of the world.