Yes it seems that these mobile programs will be offered for free starting on 13 October 2010 but did anyone notice this line in the story about the freebies?

To those of you who have already paid $2.99 for the full version of HootSuite mobile, you’ll get to keep what you paid for. You purchased HootSuite for the ability to add unlimited social networks to your phone, to view ow.ly stats, and to have an ad-free mobile interface. You’ll get to keep all of these things on your iPhone, even after we make the app free.

The bold and italics are my doing.

So although they are offering a free version of these mobile apps and will add apps for the iPad and Blackberry down the road it certainly appears that those will be ad-supported free versions.

So here is my question – is the free version with ads worth it or would you prefer to pay the $2.99 before the 13th of October and have the ad-free version for ever?

I can imagine that Hootsuite will be seeing a lot of purchases before the 13th for the paid version to be grandfathered with the ad-free interface.  So is this good marketing or just how the timing worked out?