Promoted tweets Twitter advertising

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 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, 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?

4 Comments on “Promoted tweets Twitter advertising”

  1. I guess I kind of always assumed this was part of the plan, so I’m not shocked. I guess I just hope they learned the MySpace lesson, that you have to keep it tasteful and limited. Non-intrusive. One a day sounds reasonable, but I can picture 4-5 a day. Keeping it tied to search seems really interesting because psychologically that’s when a person is in active search mode. If the promoted tweet is RELEVANT this could be a very effective and desirable spot for advertisers. Just imposing irrelevant ads in my twitter stream isn’t going to work for me. But like Google Ads in the sidebar of Gmail, I regularly click on those because sometimes they are dead-on interesting to me.

    The truth is – we (power users) have such well defined crap filters, we’ll just skim right over them, rendering them literally invisible just like the latest retweeted “win an ipad” or “retweet this to save the world” junk our friends put out numerous times a day anyway.

    1. Thanks for your input. I think that for the inserted-into-your-stream promoted tweets, they could actually be interesting if they use contextual logic, like Google Adsense. So if you’re tweeting about your car being messed up, then you receive a promoted tweet from an automotive repair shop in Phoenix. It could be useful, but let’s hope they don’t saturate / over-promoted tweet us and that they keep it as non-intrusive as possible.

  2. They did not define frequency when they move promoted tweets but based on their current views it will not be excessive.

    You will not be able to opt out via Twitter. They willnhave resonance score for promoted tweets and if a tweet is not resonating they will kill the campaign.

    Third party clients can definitely not display any promoted tweets. However most will because Twitter is splitting revenue with them 50/50.

    1. Ahh, that’s right, I did read about the “resonance” earlier. Very interesting that they will be pulling the campaigns that don’t generate a response from users.

      I find it odd that Twitter won’t just insert promoted tweets into the stream (even for 3rd party apps pulling the stream). Don’t see why they wouldn’t do that to save money, instead of doing a 50/50 revenue split with the Twitter client owner.

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