I’ve been wondering for months what would happen to @realdonaldtrump if Twitter folded up. Would he get into a frightful sulk? Would he shrivel into himself?
Might he start it up again and turn it into a success, rather contradicting the Donald Trump business model of bluster and bankruptcy?
Who knows? But perhaps it won’t happen at all even thought Twitter is that paradox within an enigma. It has 319 million active users but does not have a viable business model. Anyway, a Bloomberg View columnist is offering a bailout plan for Twitter.
Here are its high points; Virginia Postrel’s two cents worth encapsulated:
- Charge for Twitter’s true value: the opportunity to tweet.
- Give everyone a small ration of free tweets, say five a week.
In essence, Ms Postrel is suggesting something that’s the social media equivalent of cellphone use.
Twitter, she’s suggesting, should offer the free tweets equivalent of the free minutes/ free data we get when we buy a cellphone plan.
I’m not convinced it will work but @realdonaldtrump could single-handedly bulk up Twitter coffers. Most weekends, he goes beyond any ration of free tweets Twitter might establish.
Ms Postrel goes on to sell her pay-to-tweet plan as a great improvement on the current platform, which is “plagued by bots, trolls, and terrorists”. She quotes a recent Indiana University and University of Southern California study that says 15 per cent of Twitter’s active users are bots. If they disappear once Twitter becomes pay-as-you-tweet, she says, “the platform would become more valuable, not less.”