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商业 - 科技

给Twitter的建议:应该按条收费

Sanjay Sanghoee 2014年02月26日

Twitter按条收费不仅能够直接带来可观的收入,还能有效地减少垃圾微博的数量,提高内容质量,增强用户粘性,从而为Twitter提高广告费率提供筹码。联想到IPO在即的新浪微博,按条收费是不是生财妙招?

    微博服务商Twitter起初曾因为不够直观的奇怪格式被人嘲笑,但如今我们都看到了,这家公司令所有人大跌眼镜。Twitter已成为大受欢迎的信息分享和造势平台,而其140个单词的字数限制完全符合现代社会人们注意力短暂的需求。

    然而,尽管Twitter收入强劲,且去年年底时月平均活跃用户数高达2.41亿,投资者仍然担心它在持续提升用户数量、时间线浏览量(该指标衡量Twitter的用户粘性)以及每位用户带来的广告收入方面后劲不足。下方的图表显示,Twitter的增长确实在放缓。

    要解决这个问题,Twitter应重新审视自己的商业模式。由于字数限制,Twitter用户在每条微博中仅能表达单个想法、理念或消息,而且76%的用户都是通过移动设备访问Twitter。于是,Twitter由此成了一个传播速度飞快的平台。相关性和时机在Twitter平台上非常重要。尽管如此,用户却常常在Twitter上分享一些毫无营养(甚至有些烦人)的信息(即“我正在吃牛排晚餐,#肉食动物,我的猫咪最可爱”之类的),哪怕是那些平时微博质量很高的用户也不例外。

    问题在于,用户的时间线页面越是被一些鸡毛蒜皮的消息所充斥,就越会损害Twitter成为重要理念严肃交流平台的潜力。因此,Twitter需要设法激励用户发表更有内涵、更有意义的微博,比如对用户发布的微博按条收费。它将鼓励用户尽量少发毫无内容的微博,只发值得自己花钱来发布的信息。当然,还是会有用户愿意花钱来发布泄愤的、垃圾的或其它毫无意义的微博消息,但按条收费应该有助于减少这类微博的数量。

    这个举措可能大有前景。假定Twitter对用户发布的微博按每条1美分收费,同时假设按条收费使微博的条数(目前每天大约5亿条)减半,这个举措将给Twitter带来9亿美元的额外收入,而2014年Twitter的预期收入也仅为11亿美元。这还没有算上Twitter可能获得的广告收入增长。微博的内容质量提高能增强用户粘性,而Twitter则可借此提高广告费率。

    我本人就是Twitter的重度用户,如果我收到的Twitter消息的相关性和质量更高,我查看自己时间线页面的次数会更多。同时,如果按条收费的做法减少了无聊微博的数量,从而帮助我节省了宝贵的时间和精力,我也会愿意付费发微博。(财富中文网)

    本文作者是一位政治和商业评论员。他曾在拉扎德和德利佳华这两家投资银行任职,还曾为对冲基金Ramius效力。他目前是中端市场广播服务提供商戴维森媒体集团的董事。作者拥有哥伦比亚大学商学院的工商管理硕士学位,还著有两部惊悚小说。

    译者:项航

    Twitter (TWTR) was initially derided for its strange and non-intuitive format, but as most of us have seen, the micro-blogging service confounded expectations; it has become a wildly popular medium for sharing information and creating buzz, and its 140-character limit is perfect for the short attention span of modern society.

    Yet, despite strong earnings and a monthly average of 241 million active users at the end of last year, investors are concerned about the company's ability to keep growing its user base, timeline views (which measures how engaged users are with Twitter), and advertising revenue per user. As you can see in the chart below, Twitter's growth rate is slowing down.

    To address this, the company should reexamine its business model. Twitter (TWTR), due to its short format, only enables users to deliver a single thought, idea, or piece of information in a tweet, and 76% of users access it via mobile. This makes it a brutally fast medium where both relevance and timing are important. Still, users frequently share the most random (and borderline annoying) thoughts: (i.e. I'm having steak for dinner #meateater, I have the cutest cat), including users who at other times tweet intelligently.

    The problem is that the more users' timelines gets cluttered with frivolous tweets, Twitter's potential as a serious medium for the interchange of important ideas gets compromised. Accordingly, the company needs to create an incentive for users to tweet more thoughtfully and meaningfully, such as a charge per tweet. This would encourage users to minimize white noise and tweet only what they are willing to pay for. That isn't to say that some users would not pay to tweet rants, spam, or other types of nonesense, but charging for tweets should help reduce the volume.

    The numbers could be promising. Say that Twitter charged its users a penny a tweet, and let's also assume that charging for tweets reduces the volume (currently, about 500 million tweets per day) by 50%. That would generate an additional $900 million for Twitter, on top of its currently projected revenues of $1.1 billion in 2014. This also does not include the bump that Twitter could get in advertising revenues as more relevant tweets could lead to higher engagement by users and enable the company to increase its advertising rates.

    As an avid Twitter user myself, I'd check my timeline more regularly if my twitter feed were more relevant and of a higher quality. I would also be willing to pay to tweet if the system decreased the volume of frivolous tweets, thereby saving me valuable time and energy.

    Sanjay Sanghoee is a political and business commentator. He has worked at investment banks Lazard Freres and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, as well as at hedge fund Ramius. Sanghoee sits on the Board of Davidson Media Group, a mid-market radio station operator. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and is also the author of two thriller novels.

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