If you are a Telecel broadband subscriber you might have noticed this already. Your network has introduced Twitter bundles to join the segment of social media bundles that give access to specific platforms for a set period.
The Twitter bundles are priced at 60 cents for a week’s access and $2 for a monthly subscription and are available on the *480# menu. It won’t be the first time Telecel has packaged Twitter in a bundle. Last month the Telecel Hie bundles were launched with a $10 option that comes with monthly access to Twitter.
The Twitter bundles are, however, Telecel’s first version that caters for the micro-blogging platform only. This is despite Telecel’s previous expression of interest in a Twitter offering.
Some time last year at the height of its product duel with its competitor Econet Wireless, mobile network operator Telecel Zimbabwe shared plans to introduce Twitter bundles.
At the time, it all made sense. Despite their violation of net-neutrality Facebook and WhatsApp bundles were slowly become the staple food of mobile broadband subscribers and Telecel, which had just released its own WhatsApp social media packages was keen on getting one over Econet.
the plans seemed to die when Econet introduced its free Twitter promotion, a social media campaign which replaced any plans for Econet Twitter bundles and lasted for more than half a year, giving Econet broadband subscribers all the reason to believe that Twitter should be served for free.
So what’s changed? Well, NetOne just recently came to market with its own Twitter Bundles, discarding all conventions on free access to Twitter. Besides that huge motivator (or validator, depending on how you look at it) there’s the fact that telecoms operators have to focus on rolling out broadband packages and services in earnest.
The slow but steady fall in voice revenue, coupled by a tough economic and operational environment is supposed to be countered in some way. New products that have a value proposition easy to communicate to subscribers easily get the first shot here.
Will subscribers be willing to pay $2 a month (or the $2.80 in the case of NetOne) for twitter access? I guess its only Twimbos will be best placed to answer that.