MTN head offices in Fairlands West of Johannesburg.Photo Simphiwe Mbokazi/AfricanNewsAgency/ANA

CAPE TOWN – MTN announced that it will no longer be offering its users free Twitter as of midnight today the 25th of September 2018.

“Free Twitter started out as a 90-day promotion in May 2014 and over time, it has become part of the landscape of social media in South Africa. MTN first gave people the free platform to experience Twitter, which then had a relatively small local following. At the time, the whole of South Africa only had 5.5 million Twitter users. To date, MTN has more than double that number on our network alone,” said Jacqui O’Sullivan, executive for Corporate Affairs at MTN SA in a statement. 

According to MTN, Last month  13 million people used Twitter on its network, with an estimated 1.9 petabytes of data being used.

“Twitter was originally intended as a quick and snappy way to stay connected with the world – within a 140 character (now 280) limit. It has since evolved into a platform that is video and image intensive, making it no longer feasible to offer this as a value-added service to our customers,” concludes O’Sullivan.

While Twitter’s growth numbers have stagnated of late, the social media platform still has a very local following and engaged community, so it should be interesting to see if there is any backlash or loss of customers as a result of the new policy from MTN.

MTN today also announced changes to the pricing and sizing of its WhatsApp and Twitter bundles.

From Monday 1 October MTN’s Twitter and WhatsApp bundles will also be amended. 

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 daily offer, meanwhile, increases from R1 to R2 but moves from 20MB to 50MB.

MTN’s Twitter bundles will also change in size and pricing. 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.