Twitter to charge in Japan

While here on the Western side of the globe, Twitter's plans for profit include commercial accounts with a special layer of analytical access, in Japan, the micro-blogging site has revealed plans to charge consumers.

The paid-for, premium accounts will see a tiered payment model that will charge users to view tweets and related text, images and links of "certain premium Twitter accounts".

In Japan Twitter is a subsidiary, operated by Twitter investor Digital Garage, and operates separately from the main Twitter service we use in Europe and the US.

The paid subscription options are due to go live in Japan in January 2010 with pricing due to range from 100 yen (70p) to 1000 yen (£7), presumably on an access/time basis, with Twitter said to be taking a 30% cut.

It's almost certain we will not see a similar plan. Twitter has always maintained it will keep the site free for users, with the service's co-founder quoted just this month as stating: "Twitter will always be free to everyone whether it's commercial or personal".