Twitter gets into April Fools' action, announces vowel-less 'Twttr' service

Who needs vowels, right? Especially if you’re on Twitter and already hate the 140-character limit on the micro-blogging site. Twitter has announced that it is going to launch a new service called Twttr that will skip the vowels and will turn the main site Twitter into a $5 a month premium service. Of course, one needs to keep in mind that it’s April Fool’s day today.

“Starting today, we are shifting to a two-tiered service: Everyone can use our basic service, Twttr, but you only get consonants. For five dollars a month, you can use our premium 'Twitter' service which also includes vowels,” the scl ntwrk wrote in a blog post.

World's most retweeted tweet on Twttr

World's most retweeted tweet on Twttr


Being very considerate, though, Twitter has letter “Y” for free. Saying that the letter “Y” will be free, “always and forever,” Twitter also said that vowels in URLs will also be free of charge. These changes will thankfully not be rolled over to Twitter users who access the website in other languages.

Twitter is also expanding the length of tweets to 141 characters (yayy!) from the original 140, “for those moments when you need just one more character to finish your thought.” This extra character will come with a price tag, sadly. Using a bidding system, Twitter will decide the price of the extra character keeping in mind its demand at the time. You can choose to go over limit with one character, not two, said the social networking website.

So how did this genius idea come about? Michael Sippey, Twitter’s VP of Product said, “I was carpooling home after Twitter’s seventh birthday party. With my head filled with images from our past, like our early logo where we spelled it TWTTR, in neon green toothpaste. And then Prince’s song “I would die 4 U” came on the radio. I felt like there was something there, but I wasn’t sure what or how to bring it to market.

Then later that night, I was watching “Wheel of Fortune” with @adambain, and a contestant yelled out ‘I wanna buy a vowel’. Everything just sort of clicked. Adam and I turned to each other and high-fived. It was one of those product moments that just felt like magic.”

Twitter said that it has already started testing Twttr with a small group of users, and this change will be rolled out to 100 percent of them over the next few days. Very considerately Twitter has advised users to practice tweeting with merely consonants and the letter “Y”. It has made available hashtags #novwls for people on Twtter and #icanhashashtag for users on premium Twitter.

April Fools!

April Fools!


A website that converts your Tweets into “Twts” has also been provided. Heading to the website will write a tweet out for you to send to your followers, letting them know you’ve been April Fooled by Twitter.

Twitter joins the ranks of other companies who are pulling gags on the internet today. Google has launched a bevy of prank services including Google Nose, a website that allows you to smell products using your monitors. Google also announced that YouTube would be shutting down in order to find the best video, before the service launches again in 2023 with just the winning video.

Published Date: Apr 01, 2013 15:57 PM | Updated Date: Apr 01, 2013 15:57 PM