Ben Brooks attacks the “Twitter needs money” angle from another direction:
Making money isn’t really the problem, the problem is how Twitter wants to make money and how the need for money is fundamentally changing the service itself.
Brooks infers that Promoted Tweets/Trends can’t actually be bringing in that much money and that Twitter would be better off charging their users something minuscule like $6 a year. He insinuates that even if they lost 70% of their users they would still make 10s of millions of dollars per month. But it’s likely that a monthly fee would alienate more users than ads.
I personally don’t have a problem paying a relative nominal fee for a product I like. Even $20 a year doesn’t seem unreasonable for something I use as frequently as Twitter.