Jason Calacanis and Pat Phelan have both written about how they would be willing to pay for a Twitter Pro/Plus that offered a guarantee of increased service reliability. This all comes as a response to the service interruptions that Twitter experiences almost every day.
I’m not sure that I see the point in paying for the increase in reliability, for a couple of reasons.
There’s Really No (Valuable) Return
This is a deal breaker for me — I would gain nothing in return for the money I would be paying each month. Sure, I would be able to tweet my heart out while others are staring at the “Somethings technically broken” message, but those tweets would be seen by few people. I would only be tweeting to those few who pay for service. This defeats the purpose of using Twitter.
A Paid Service Could Alienate Users
Probably the biggest problem with the idea of paying for service reliability is that non-paying users would almost certainly feel like any service interruptions are targeted at getting more people to pay. I’m not saying that the Twitter team would actually do this, but you can’t control paranoid crowds of users. Just look at the “bury brigade” theories that had so many Digg users up-in-arms early last year; people will get paranoid and leave in frustration.
Are Service the Interruptions Really THAT Bad?
I love following the links shared, gaining insight into random person’s life-happenings, and the whole experience in itself, but it’s not essential to my day. When Twitter goes down it is annoying, but it’s not really that big of a deal. When things go wrong with Twitter, I get frustrated and move on. It’s not so important to my every day life that I’d be willing to pay my hard-earned dollars to improve it’s reliability.