The Official Shorty Awards Blog

Twitter Fools’ Day

Twitter Pro

On March 25, 2009, Reuters quoted Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, saying “We think there will be opportunities to provide services to commercial entities that help them get even more value out of Twitter. If these services are valuable to companies, we think they may want to pay for them”.

On April 1, 2009, Twitter Pro was launched. This premium Twitter account offered an instant 50,000 followers (“so you no longer have to bother writing anything interesting”) as well as 160 character tweets (as opposed to Twitter’s normal 140 character limit).

In reality, Twitter Pro was an April Fool’s Joke perpetrated by yours truly, the Shorty Awards team. Twitter Pro’s only feature is a big, garish red “PRO” (in 16pt Arial) slapped across the Twitter user’s face. Victims received this message after giving just their username to join Twitter Pro:

Because Twitter Pro is still in beta and Twitter’s technical staff is limited, you will need to go though a few steps to accept.

1. Save this photo (right-click or control-click):

2. Click this link: http://twitter.com/account/picture

3. Upload the photo

4. Invite more people

Within 24 hours of launch, over 16,000 people signed up for Twitter Pro. If we charged just $140 per year for this valuable service, we’d make a cool $2.24 million in annual revenue. Who says Twitter can’t make money?

You can view a large version on Flickr of the PRO mosaic embedded above that’s made of up images of the actual fake pro users. Thanks to the Twitter team for being a good sport about this. We shudder to think how many support emails Twitter got about this.

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April 3, 2009