Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/13/aqa2u/
New service seeks to monetise microwaffling
Twittery profit? Say it isn't so!
Question-answering service AQA has expanded its offering to a Twitter-like service, with the added benefit of paying users for posting their thoughts by charging those receiving them.
The premise of "AQA2U" is pretty simple: you set up a feed, then try to get people to follow it - they get charged 98 pence for signing up and 25 pence for each tweet received, of which you get between 7 and 9 pence (the operator takes 12 pence and the rest goes to AQA). With 250 followers you could be raking in three grand a year, according to the company.
You're going to have to find something pretty compelling to say if punters are going to pay 25 pence to hear it, but AQA reckons it's fertile ground for B and C-list celebrities and has signed up a few to demonstrate the service:
Recent chart-topper Tinchy Stryder provides a canned quotation - "I’m big into Twittering and blogging. This new AQA service is a good way to expand on that and let my fans know what I’m up to and where I’m at by phone as well as online" ...not to mention charging them for the privilege.
But it gets stranger, with minor celebrities reporting on the activities of less-minor names as exemplified by photographer Dave Hogan:
"I’ll be texting up-to-the minute showbiz news from the biggest events and the biggest stars in the world... Watch out for my backstage reports from behind the scenes of upcoming U2 and Michael Jackson tours..."
Our first thought is that no one would pay 25 pence a message to be twittered at, but then we remembered how celebrity-obsessed the UK population is and it occurs to us that perhaps AQA can achieve something Twitter hasn't managed - an income. ®