I don’t see anyone else suggesting this anywhere, but surely I’m not the first or only to think of it…
They need a business model that includes them making a profit (something they’ve somehow forgotten to create until now). They’re trying ads, and, predictably, they’re getting harsh feedback. People are suggesting a paid service subscription model (pay $6 a month/year/whatever for access to Twitter). Some are even suggesting a “Twitter Pro” paid subscription that adds new, currently non-existant features for paying users.
What I don’t see suggested anywhere that seems the best/easiest solution to me is this: charge the corporations. If you’re an individual, you get in free. If you’re a corporation, you pay. I don’t think this would even need policing. Say you’re Coca-Cola and you want to use Twitter. You’re not going to try to game them and create a fake personal account. Well, okay, sure you will. You’ll create hundreds. But for your corporate identity you’ll want at least one official Coca-Cola Twitter account. Charge for that. Charge a hefty service fee. They’ll pay. They love Twitter. You’ve basically done the drug-dealer maneuver at this point: you know, the first one’s free. They can’t not have access to architecturally-virulent, credibility-infused (if you’re getting a re-tweet from a friend that’s a personal endorsement they just won) advertising. They’ll pay top dollar. The rest of the population can continue posting about how they’re bored or not really enjoying their sandwich as must as they obviously deserve to.
It’s like the special, lower postage rate that bulk mail senders enjoy (and shouldn’t, if you ask me), but in reverse.