Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Monetarising websites with threshold tax

Twitter's great, I love that microblogging instant messenger type service thing. I'm sceptical that anyone reads my tweets, and other people seem to have more fun lives than me. Who cares anyway, its free. Twitter's free.

For me following thirty people and having forty following me in return, it costs the same as @jakeandamir and @barackobama with 2,500 and 150,000 followers respectively.

If twitter needs funding, can't they just set a subscription threshold? Their venture capital funding is about $15million a year.
For example, folk who are following more than a thousand people need to pay $5 per month. Here, there's over a thousand folk with more than a two thousand friends on twitter. I reckon that there's four thousand more folk with more than one thousand. So, assuming that half of them give up if you try to charge that for what was previously a free service, you can make

2500 x $5 x 12 = $150,000

Well, they need ten times that, but its a start.

With a second subscription tier, for the two hundred or so folk with four thousand friends, priced at $25 per month, these chaps are less likely to stop tweeting, so you can get subs from all of them.

400 x $25 x 12 +
2300 x $5 x 12 = $258,000

Hmph, quarter of a million might cover running costs. But its still no where near the venture capital funding, maybe if the threshold was brought down to five hundred friends and the first subscription tier was $3. That would get $500,000. That about half as much as is needed to cover wages.

Ah well, I thought it was an interesting idea. I'd name my three subscription tiers beer, burger and dinner, so when the punters pay it, its comparable to stuff they pay for already.

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