Twitter's Japanese partner, Digital Garage, will soon introduce a micropayment system that will give Twitter users the option to charge for access to their tweets. According to Media magazine, users will be able hide access to images, external URLs and text behind a paywall and other users would only be able to see this content if they either paid for a monthly subscription or through a pay-per-tweet option. Twitter itself will take a 30% cut.

Kenichi Sugi, the COO of Digital Garage Mobile, announced this new business model at mobidec2009 earlier this week. The paid accounts will go live in January 2010.

Twitter's Japanese subsidiary has always been somewhat different from Twitter's main site. Twitter Japan already offers advertising options, for example. Japan is also the only market where Twitter offers its own mobile application and mobile video service.

Don't Pay for Twitter - Pay for Accessing Tweets

According to today's reports, which still lack a lot of detail, Twitter users will have a number of options to pay for these account. According to Media magazine's Anita Davis, users can pay monthly subscriptions with their credit cards and the pay-per-tweet options could be "charged to credit card, convenience store top-up cards or carrier billing for Twitter-on-mobile users."

Overall, this looks like an interesting business model for the Japanese market. Instead of charging its users directly for the use of Twitter, this option gives content producers the option to charge for their work. This new payment system will also give news organizations the option to experiment with delivering paid news, for examples..

Would You Pay To Access Premium Tweets?

In the rest of the world, however, Twitter is more likely to make money through charging for premium accounts that add new features (analytics, verified accounts, etc.).

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