Today, Twitter has announced a new two-tier option for its users: a premium, five dollars a month service, and a free but basic version of the micro-blogging platform, known as Twttr, which everyone can use.
The catch? The no-cost Twttr option does not allow the use of vowels, meaning users will now have to get very creative with the letter “Y”.
Yep. This is huge. Twitter has said that they’re doing this because “by eliminating vowels, we’ll encourage a more efficient and ‘dense’ form of communication. We also see an opportunity to diversify our revenue stream.”
Hard to argue with that. Anything to get those profits up, right? Sounds like smart business thinking to me. And let’s face it, 90 percent of Twitter users rarely use any vowels (or punctuation, for that matter) in their Tweets, so for most folks this cutdown version of the service isn’t going to make a lick of difference.
And for those that might struggle, Twitter has some good news: the letter “Y” will be free to all users.
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.
Let’s not forget by stripping out those (to be honest, mostly annoying) vowels, you’ll be able to create a lot more room for some amazing 140-character tweets. Like this one from Joan Rivers, for example:
Twyttyr? Why byy vywyls whyn yyy gyt “Y” fyr fryy? Syckyrs! #nvwls
— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) April 1, 2013
You can see how your own Tweets will look here.
(It’s an April Fool, of course, and a pretty good one at that. Kudos to Twitter for the Google-esque effort. Hop on over to the official Twitter blog for more.)