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Twitter to launch commercial accounts with premium services

LONDON - Twitter could be set to finally earn some cash from its micro blogging service this year as it prepares to launch commercial accounts to entice business users to pay for premium services like detailed analytics.

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According to an interview with VentureBeat, co-founder Biz Stone said that Twitter was in the first phase of rolling out commercial accounts and after that, the company intends to build business-oriented application programming interfaces (APIs), which would create a "commercial layer" over the social network.

Stone said: "Twitter will still be free for everybody and we'll still tell them to go crazy with it.

"But we've identified a selection of things that businesses say are helping to make them more profit."

Twitter will also be launching "verified accounts" for businesses, which help followers decipher if a Twitter account held by Coca-Cola for example is actually owned by Coca-Cola or someone pretending to be the firm.

A number of celebrities such as cyclist Lance Armstrong and comedian Stephen Fry have already been given "verified accounts" on the micro blogging site.

Stone did not give VentureBeat a specific launch date for the newer commercial offerings.

Last month, Twitter documents were leaked, which revealed other commercial strategies aimed at helping the site generate revenue, including search ads, sponsored tweets, and AdSense widgets.

Meanwhile, Twitter announced last week that it was adding location to its service, in a move that will let people see where "tweets" are coming from.

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