There’s the to-be-expected outrage over the changes Twitter is making to APIs and it’s got some people panicking that there may be a lot more adverts in the future, which brings back to mind something that amazes me – is Twitter the only company that doesn’t see easy ways for it to make money?
At the moment, Twitter dictates who gets verified status and that can cause problems for people who are either niche celebrities or small-time (by Twitter’s status) so charge a decent fee – not enough to deter people but enough to scare off impersonators – to have a verified account. You’d find lots of people getting this to prove to the world who they are – anyone using Twitter for business would snap it up so people knew tweets were coming from a genuine source.
Just now, getting an account name from an account that hasn’t been used for any length of time is nigh-on impossible. You send an email to Twitter and then wait. And wait. And wait. Submitting a help ticket is no better. The irony isn’t lost on me that for a company so many use for customer service, they are terrible at it themselves. So instead, tell people that if they see an account name they want – and the account hasn’t been used for more than 6-12 months, then they can have it for $25.
Before anyone moans, bear in mind that you don’t get to keep URLs forever, so paying for a Twitter name isn’t an outrageous thing to suggest.
In a similar vein to the above, set up a storefront where people can say “I have this name” and people can come in and bid on it with Twitter taking a percentage of the fee – 30% seems to be the going rate in digital terms.
This might not be possible, but if so, worth exploring. Some companies have names longer than the traditional Twitter limit so why not offer them their proper name – but at a cost? Again, charge something decent but professional – say $100.
At the moment this is free (and how people would love to be able to do it on Facebook) but why not make it an option on Twitter?
Perhaps more controversially…
This is more just thinking out loud as I think the free service is probably part of what has made it so popular but you want to cut down on the spam accounts? Charge every person who uses it. Or perhaps allow so many tweets per person for free (20 a day?) and then charge after that.
Or just charge an absurdly low amount – $1 a year. Even if you have 1million users, that’s $1million coming into you.
So are there any technical reasons the above can’t be done? I’d love to hear if there is…