If you are interested in twitter then surely this will be news for you. But I hope you already know about this one that twitter is thinking to charge brands/companies for commercial usage. According to British trade Marketing Magazine (part of BrandRepublic) which held an interview with co-founder Biz Stone reported:

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“We are noticing more companies using Twitter and individuals following them. We can identify ways to make this experience even more valuable and charge for commercial accounts.”

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Few things popped into my head when I first saw this news yesterday. First of all, it’s not yet confirmed that twitter for sure is going to charge the companies/brands right away. It’s just a hypothesis in paper work. But considering that something of this nature happens, then what? Yes, the prophecy gets fulfilled i.e. Twitter starts Monetizing but is it for good or bad for twitter. Let me paint a picture with this and get few nuggets on why charging brands in twitter is not a good idea:

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1. First of all, the pricing may kill many brands to get into twitter. Yes, few brands surely will try it out but the possibility of newer brands proliferating this channel may plunge. For example, the agency which reported the news got in touch with Bob Pearson, VP of communities and conversations at Dell, with that exact question and got an interesting response: “If it becomes complicated and costly, our instinct would be to move elsewhere.” BTW Dell recently made US$ 1 million from twitter.

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2. Twitter becomes more interesting when users feel that brands/companies are in easy reach and can easily rant about recent brand experience, product failures or ever give feedback about campaigns which can slide southwards if twitter starts charging and the canvas becomes sparce.

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3. If twitter starts charging then question about ROI becomes evident for companies/brands which clearly is not possible to estimate in such a conversational medium right now. For example, what would be the currency for user endorsement – Re-Tweets (RT) or direct buying after seeing the promotional tweets? Tough nut to crack!

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4. This is a casual reason but isn’t Barack Obama or Guy Kawasaki a noted brand in twitter? Don’t they push they own promotional messages in twitter about their recent website launch or some other campaigns. Is twitter going to charge them also?

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5. Is it possible for every brand to leverage this medium? I’m sure many new brands will get lured but can a conversational medium convert into tangible dollars? I’m sure the moment twitter starts charging companies, the very way of sharing promotional messages via tweets will convert into push messages since at the end of the day community managers are answereable about their spending.

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These are few reasons I think twitter shouldn’t straightaway charge brands/companies. What other reasons do you see twitter should or shouldn’t charge companies.

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