THere is a great guest post on TechCrunch by Nova Spivack: How Twitter Can Save $50 Million: Forget TweetDeck, And Go Freemium On Its API
This is a must read article. I agree that Twitter seems to be losing it's way at the moment. The current uncertainty around TweetDeck crystalizes this issue.
I think Nova is on to something with the idea of a Freemium API. It creates a scenario where there are known costs of entry for startups that are based around a simple cost calculation.
I also agree that Twitter should look to the role of Gnip and bring the Twitter fire hose in house and monetize that for companies that want to work with that flood of data.
However, I have been using Twitter for more than four years and believe that there is a third option to include in this Freemium model. I use Twitter every day. It is an invaluable resource. I would welcome an option where individuals could choose a Freemium account option with Twitter and be able to op out of the Ad Stream at the Twitter source. Then, regardless of where or how I access Twitter, I receive a "clean" feed.
Without the personal Freemium option Twitter may inadvertently discourage use of their own platform. Under Nova's Service Provider Freemium model I might pay to use TweetDeck to get a "clean" ad free Twitter feed but if I go and sign in to Twitter's web client I find my stream has Twitter's Ads filtering in to the stream. Let's have ann option to opt out of the Ad stream.