The free version of Feedly will remain in place, and new features will be added to it, the company has promised.
Like any service that offers both free and paid versions -- the so-called "freemium" business model -- Feedly must walk a fine line between satisfying the bulk of its users, who rely on the free version, and proving to its paying subscribers that their money has been well spent.
"We don't see a conflict between paid and not paid services, but perhaps a tension between the two," said Moutran in an email reply to questions, including whether there was an inherent conflict between free and paid under a freemium model.
"We'll continue to negotiate that area by listening to our users and doing our best to make the appropriate services available at the appropriate level," Moutran continued. "Maintaining a free version of Feedly is key in our model to keep marketing cost low. It also forces us to create enough value to convince users the Pro version is worth it. Free users also help us make the product better."
But the fact is, Moutran said, a paid level of service was necessary. "We have to execute on our business plan. A premium account has always been part of that plan," he asserted.
Moutran also echoed the thoughts expressed by bloggers in March after Google's decision to kill Reader. "We have also heard people express concerns about using Feedly because it was free, and therefore had no sustainable business model," Moutran said.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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