MTN South Africa is pulling the plug on its popular zero-rated Twitter offering, saying it is no longer feasible to offer the service without charging for data use.
MTN started “free Twitter” as a 90-day promotion in May 2014 but has repeatedly extended it over the years. At the time, Twitter had a “relatively small local following”, it said.
“Overall usage trends towards video and images have determined that it is no longer feasible to offer a service like Twitter for free due to the cost and demand it places on the network,” said company spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan. The zero-rated Twitter offering will end on Tuesday, 25 September.
Last month, the number of free Twitter users on MTN’s network soared to 13 million, using an “extraordinary” 1.9 petabytes of data. That’s roughly 1 900 terabytes.
At the same time, MTN has announced changes to the pricing and sizing of its WhatsApp and Twitter bundles, effective 1 October.
The weekly WhatsApp bundle rate increases from 100MB for R5 to 250MB for R10. “This change is to cater for the increased demand MTN is seeing for larger bundles while still delivering extra value to WhatsApp users,” the company said. The daily offer, meanwhile, increases from R1 to R2 but moves from 20MB to 50MB.
MTN’s Twitter bundles will also change. The current daily bundle will move from R1 for 20MB to R5 for 100MB and the weekly rate will change from 100MB for R5 to 500MB for R20.
“While our pricing has increased, we were mindful of ensuring that our offering remained competitive and affordable. In line with this, both offerings still provide great value in the market,” said O’Sullivan. — © 2018 NewsCentral Media