Mobile content provider AQA 63336 (whose name makes me think of that new emergency services number) has launched AQA2U, a commercial micro-publishing platform which lets UK users micro-blog for money.
It works like this: you sign up as a publisher via the AQA website. Once approved, you set up topics ending in 2U which your ‘fans and followers’ subscribe to by texting that topic to 63336, at the cost of 98p.
Thereafter, any time you feel like you have something of value to share, you publish it from your phone or online, and your subscribers receive it as a text — at cost to them of 25p per aphorism, observation or other nugget of information. The maximum a user will be charged is £3.50 per month.
So the publishers who are already using Twitter are going to have to decide whether they stick with a service with traction and hope there are monetisation plans in the wings, or try to herd their followers en masse to a newer, relatively less well-known service with limited geographic reach.