Personally, I feel some anger and resentment toward Twitter. I believe that Twitter is more of an infrastructure than an online service. I really think Twitter is going down the wrong road toward Facebook-ization. Trying to improve the elegant simplicity of Twitter seems exactly like Windows-bloat-ification, in other words making it infinitely more complicated by trying to simplify it.
Further, by instituting their own URL shortener, and thereby screwing up URLs as posted by users, Twitter is actually engaged in a massive trip to control URLs. For example, if Twitter should go out of business at any time in the future, then every link ever posted to Twitter could be lost, not cool.
As for the historical corpus of Twitter, IMHO, it is verging on criminal to deny the public access to their own archive. Why is this important? Because, almost everything about almost everything has already been said. In other words, almost all knowledge is already contained in the historical corpus of Twitter, and throttling access to that knowledge is unconscionable!