No Internet User Would Pay for Twitter

A new study from the Center for Digital Future at USC‘s (University of Southern California) Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism found that 49% of respondents have used free micro-blog sites like Twitter — but 0% of those polled said they would pay to use Twitter.

Twitter has no plan to charge its users, but this result illustrates, beyond any doubt, the tremendous problem of transforming free users into paying users.

This means that online providers still face major challenges to get customers to pay for services they now receive for free. Did you hear that Mr. Warren Buffett? You can’t charge for content!

The survey of 1,981 Internet users also found that half “never” click on Web advertising, with 70% saying they find it “annoying.”

However, 55% said they would rather see Web advertising than pay for content.

Some other highlights from the study:

Yet 55 percent of users said they would rather see Web advertising than pay for content. Did you hear that again Mr. Warren Buffett?

America Online, literally: “The Internet is used by 82 percent of Americans.”

Everyone under the age of 24 is online.


Just two percent of respondents have an e-book reader (such as a Kindle — though, remember, this survey was done, pre-iPad, in 2009).

The study found that as sources of information, newspapers rank below the Internet or television.

Just 56 percent of Internet users ranked newspapers as important or very important sources of information for them – a decrease from 60 percent in 2008 and below the Internet (78 percent), and television (68 percent).

Just 29 percent of Internet users consider newspapers a source of entertainment, down from 32 percent in 2008.

Eighteen percent of Internet users said they stopped a subscription to a newspaper or magazine because they now get the same or related content online.

“Internet users were asked where they would go for information provided by their newspaper if the print edition ceased, 59 percent said they would read the online edition of the publication; only 37 percent said they would instead read the print edition of another newspaper. Twenty-two percent of users who read newspapers said they would not miss the print edition of their newspaper.”

Trust in the Web appears to be eroding. Sixty-one percent of users said that only half or less of online information is reliable — a new low level for the project.

A relatively high percentage (22 percent) of users say that only one half or less of information on sites they visit regularly is reliable.

While 53 percent of Internet users said that most or all of the information provided by search engines is reliable and accurate, that percentage is well below the peak of 64 percent in 2006.

Less than half (46 percent) of users surveyed said they have some trust or a lot of trust in the Internet.

As for the image I picked for this article, it’s in my DNA. that is the only one I could find for USC on the internet 😉

Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter

Bookmark and Share

About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

One Response to No Internet User Would Pay for Twitter

  1. pinhead says:

    Internet is the rebel highway

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: