How much will you pay for twitter? It's something all twitter users will have to consider because, like it or not, subscription is in the business plan. So is a (they hope) subtle form of advertising.
These details were included in the pitches they made in the recent round of funding. Even those of us who weren't privy to those pitches have been able to work this much out for ourselves.
Recently set limits on the numbers of followers/followed hints at a TwitterPro kind of model in the Flickr vein. By the way, Flickr refuses to disclose how many people have taken up their pro option. LinkedIn isn't exactly raddled with pro users either, for that matter.
The 140 characters allowed in each tweet, rather than the standard 160 characters of an sms message indicate, perhaps, a place to carry a word from our sponsors...
Yes Twitter got its funding. But funnily enough, the model didn't float the boat of every VC that Twitter pitched. Particularly when those VCs considered the numbers of truly active users (still something of a guarded secret).
For all this Twitter is extremely useful. It is one of a handful of elements of social media I would willingly pay money for.
But I had to use it first to discover how valuable it was to me. Same, I guess, is true of blogger.
So I'm guessing the entry level on twitter will remain free. Perhaps for anyone with up to 2000 followers. This will be ad supported. Perhaps there will be an option to pay NOT to be interrupted by advertising.
I hope not, because that would indicate twitter isn't thinking very cleverly about what advertising can become within its communities of purpose (there are fantastic opportunities for real-time human interaction at the point of intent, recommendations from within your network of trust, etc).
What is for certain is that without a revenue stream Twitter is just another feature when viewed from the VC end of the telescope. A nice to have. Ecosystem et al.
And,.as Facebook is discovering, features without revenue streams point in only one direction when it comes to valuation.