Twitter announced and launched its new advertising platform this week.
We knew this was coming, but we didn’t know quite what it would be, until now. Many people have long wondered how the company would monetize the service and now we’re starting to see a glimpse of their future plans to generate revenue.
The advertising is dubbed “Promoted Tweets” and is currently live on Twitter.com in the Search section. In the image below, I searched for the word “coffee” and a promoted tweet from Starbucks appeared at the top of my search results.
Promoted tweet snapshot below
Notice the highlighted area underneath the promoted tweet that reads “Promoted by Starbucks Coffee”.
Interestingly enough, it appears that promoted tweets are NOT yet live on search.twitter.com, only on the primary site.
So what does this mean for end-users right now? At this point, relatively little. The current promoted tweets advertising system in the search results section is very unobtrusive and I bet that the majority of Twitter users don’t use the search function on the website that much.
Promoted Tweets, the future of Twitter advertising
But what about the future? Twitter has announced that promoted tweets will eventually be inserted into the users’ Twitter streams.
From an end-user perspective, this sounds like it will suck, but there are many factors involved that will determine how much of a “suck” it will be.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors and hypothetical situations that could arise in response to promoted tweets.
Frequency. If I get one promoted tweet inserted into my Twitter stream per day, no biggie, right? But if I’m getting an advertisement every 5 minutes, I’m going to be very, very annoyed with Twitter.
Opt out? Will Twitter allow users to opt-out of advertising? Possibly via paying a subscription fee (think Pandora). This might be a good compromise to allow users to continue using the service without being bothered by ads.
Third party clients removing ads. It seems like it would be relatively easy for a Twitter client to identify and then remove any promoted tweets from a user’s stream. But will Twitter define this as an API Terms of Service violation? That’s the big question…
What are your thoughts on promoted tweets and Twitter advertising?