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Archive for November 2009

Pay-per-tweet starts/stops in Japan

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If anywhere can, Japan can/can’t

Even as I was about to start writing this post about Twitter Japan’s announcement that they’re going to start a pay-to-read tweet service, the news changed. They’re not.

The new strategy seemed to have been announced last week. In the report on Twitter payments I read, one sentence worried me:

…the plan will allow audiences to view some text on all tweets but will charge a fee to unlock access to certain images, external URLs and text.

I can’t think of why I might pay for a service which simply redirects me to other pages on the internet. Maybe that’s just me.

What might work? Maybe economic data? Share tips? But the trouble with any kind of real-time information is that if I’m paying, I want to ensure veracity. But maybe that’s just me.

But now it’s not happening at all. A ‘misunderstanding’ apparently. This is a shame, a commercial service has to make money somehow and limited trials are exactly the place to test new business models.

I would have thought that Japan or South Korea would be a natural place to innovate in this way. Both countries have form. Japan is home to I-mode, a technology that was ahead of its time. 10 years ago it was giving the same kind of browsing experience I get now.

Mobile payments are also far more advanced. And the Japanese are much more used to paying for content, such as cell phone books.

Compare this with Johnston Press’ paywall experiment which begins today. The publisher is hoping to show that because regional news has more value because it’s not available everywhere.

These strategies are cyclical though, as this 2003 Guardian article shows. Here we go again.


Written by Robert

30 November, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Business, Media, Mobile, Newspapers, Technology

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