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Twitter considers premium offering for professionals

The social network says it is conducting a survey to gauge interest in an enhanced version of TweetDeck.

Twitter's headquarters, in San Francisco.

James Martin/CNET

Twitter is exploring the possibility of offering a premium version of its social network aimed at professionals, the company said Thursday, suggesting it may begin collecting its first subscription fees.

Like most social media platforms, Twitter has offered a free networking platform supported by advertising. But in the shadow of Facebook, its much larger rival, Twitter's user base has grown at an anemic rate in recent quarters, hurting its chances at growing its advertising revenue.

Twitter said last month that the number of regular users grew by less than 1 percent in the fourth quarter, despite Donald Trump's prolific and often controversial tweeting, a deal with the NFL to broadcast games and a new push to stream live video.

In a possible bid for new revenue opportunities, Twitter said it is conducting a survey "to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of TweetDeck," a Twitter spokesperson said, referring to the Twitter account management app Twitter acquired in 2011.

"We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people's Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we're exploring several ways to make TweetDeck even more valuable for professionals," the spokesperson said.

There was no immediate word on how much such a service would cost.

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