Annncng: Twttr

Monday, 1 April 2013

Starting today, we are shifting to a two-tiered service: Everyone can use our basic service, Twttr, but you only get consonants. For five dollars a month, you can use our premium “Twitter” service which also includes vowels.

We’re doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we’ll encourage a more efficient and “dense” form of communication. We also see an opportunity to diversify our revenue stream. Here’s our mockup of the most retweeted Tweet of all time as it would appear in the new Twttr:

Annncng: Twttr

A E I O U and sometimes Y
Because our users come first, we believe that “Y” should always be free to everyone — today and forever. You’ll notice in the Twttr example above, the “y” is clearly visible. Also, the vowels in URLs will be also be free for everyone, forever. You can also Tweet in non-Latin characters based languages, like Japanese, Chinese, Arabic or Korean. These languages will remain unaffected by our service change.

Extra room, better Tweets
In addition to our normal suite of Promoted Products for advertisers, we are now also offering a single character extension, expanding the length of a Tweet to 141 characters, for those moments when you need just one more character to finish your thought. The price of the extra character is based on a bidding system reflecting the popularity of the character you would like to add.

Sorry, only one-letter bidding is allowed. There is no option to purchase a second additional character at this time.

Early results
We tested this new breakthrough product change with a few key partners in order to get the details right. For example, just moments after we rolled this out, it was inspiring to see how just quickly people are taking to the new service.

Product inspiration
Our own VP of Product, @sippey, got his inspiration for the new Twitter Tiers from several (perhaps surprising) sources. “I was carpooling home after Twitter’s seventh birthday party,” he told me, “with my head filled with images from our past, like our early logo where we spelled it TWTTR, in neon green toothpaste. And then Prince’s song “I would die 4 U” came on the radio. I felt like there was something there, but I wasn’t sure what or how to bring it to market.

Then later that night, I was watching “Wheel of Fortune” with @adambain, and a contestant yelled out ‘I wanna buy a vowel’. Everything just sort of clicked. Adam and I turned to each other and high-fived. It was one of those product moments that just felt like magic.”
Twttr will roll out slowly to a small percentage of users, growing to 100% over the next few days. We recommend that you practice using only consonants (and “y”) with the hashtag #nvwls (or if you have paid for our premium service, use #icanhasvowels).

To make the transition easier for you, we’ve built a site that automatically transforms your Tweets into a Twttr friendly format. Try it today at

We bet you’ll appreciate the time you save. Hr’s t mr twttng!

Posted by Kvyn Wl