It may have been a hoax but it offered real marketing value

When I saw the proposed twitter pricing on I really did think to myself ‘hey, not bad, not bad at all’ and while it has since been revealed as a hoax the value offered actually made sense.

For those that haven’t seen it this is what BBspot proposed:

  • Sparrow ($5/month) – Users get 145 character limit, 5 extra random followers.
  • Dove ($15/month) – Users get 160 character limit, 25 extra random followers, 1 random celebrity follower, auto-spell check, “Fail Whale” T-shirt.
  • Owl ($50/month) – Users get 250 character limit, 100 extra random followers, 2 random celebrity followers, 30 minutes on recommended list, auto-spell check, “Fail Whale” hoodie.
  • Eagle ($250/month) – Users get 500 character limit, 1000 extra random followers, 3 celebrity followers of their choice, 5 hours on recommended list each month, Twitter Concierge for Tweeting while user is asleep or busy (and more), auto-spell check, “Fail Whale” tuxedo, custom “Fail Whale” page when service is down.


Talking about it over beers on Friday night and with friends who run their company’s twitter feeds, their eyes lit up at the opportunity to have slightly more space in an otherwise small 140 character field.

Their main gripe about the current twitter situation is when responding to someone in conversation, that is including a respondent twitter name such as @rowanwilde and then including a tinyurl they didn’t have much room left to actually say something meaningful.

When you consider that every tweet stays out there forever via indexing, the premium accounts idea gains further traction. Premium accounts seem like a pretty great SEO opportunity to produce content quickly and an easy way to manage a solid communication channel with clients, users, members, visitors and industry contacts. Marketers just need to be aware that what is produced stays out there forever, as I’ve written about previously.

The $10 million of investor cash that was originally pumped into twitter must be running short by now (other revenue raising aside) if they did run out the pricing structure as above, they’d make that back in one year if just  3,333 users of the 6 million registered (approximately 2 million active) started and ran Eagle accounts (as above) for 12 months.

So, while the BBSpot article was a hoax could it make sense for twitter to run something out like this anyway?

Alternatively if twitter is planning on going down this path anyway, has BBSpot effectively just boxed them in?

What do you think?

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