Twitter set to charge for account verification

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Twitter set to charge for account verification

Plans more concrete revenue model.

Twitter may start charging companies to verify their accounts, as part of recently unveiled plans to tackle the increasing problem of cyber squatters setting up fake accounts.

The problems affect businesses that delay registering their brand name on Twitter, and suffer reputation losses when cyber squatters appropriate their identities and make misleading posts.

A Bloomberg interview with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said that Twitter will target a few companies to begin with, including Dell and Starbucks.

The report also claimed that Twitter may start offering statistics to businesses on the effectiveness of their Twitter strategies.

The news follows a revelation by Dell that it has earned US$3 million in revenue through Twitter since 2007.

Twitter has been looking at ways to generate revenue for a long time. Even though the site is growing at a phenomenal rate, it has had trouble monetising its web traffic.

The firm announced in February that it would start creating products to generate money, after raising US$35 million in funding from US venture capital firms Benchmark and Institutional Venture Partners.

Speculation was rife that Twitter might start charging businesses for account extras.

At a London event today the member of staff behind the Downing Street Twitter stream discussed how the micro-blogging site could be used as a listening tool by the government and to create a "two-way conversation".

Meanwhile, the social media company behind Woolworths Online's Twitter strategy discussed practical tips on using the site, such as how to decide on the person writing the tweets and how it will be resourced.

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