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    14 April 2010

    twitterbirdongoldeneggAs you might have heard, Twitter has finally initiated a revenue model.  Earlier this week, they rolled out “Promoted Tweets”, their new advertising program.  What does this mean for Twitter and their millions of loyal users?  To some extent, it probably means a shift in the atmosphere on Twitter, but they’re taking some interesting steps to ensure it doesn’t shake things up too much.

    The Promoted Tweets Program

    For now, Twitter’s new advertising program only displays promoted tweets when users search for keywords that advertisers have purchased to link to their ads.  The sponsored posts show at the top spot in the search results, just as with any sponsored search engine results.


    In time, Twitter plans to show promoted tweets in the stream of posts, based on their relevancy to a particular user.  Yes, that means you’ll see sponsored posts even from companies you’re not following, and yes, that is significant.  If it’s done right, and few doubt that Twitter will do it right, this could be an overall positive thing, even though it’s certainly a change in what we’re used to seeing on the site.

    An indication that they will in fact make this change a positive can be found in the way they’ll decide which ads you see.  When ads are posted, Twitter plans to measure what they call “resonance,” which takes into account nine factors, including the number of people who saw the post, the number of people who replied to it or passed it on to their followers, and the number of people who clicked on links.  If a post doesn’t reach a certain resonance score, Twitter will no longer show it as a promoted post. That means the company will not have to pay for it, and users won’t see ads they don’t find useful.

    The reason this is important is that it keeps advertisers accountable.  They have to come up with ads that are interesting, compelling, and, most importantly, relevant to your needs.  If they’re not adding to the conversation in a meaningful way, their ads won’t just be ineffective, they’ll be pulled altogether.  This is even better than the existing stream of garbage some amateur marketers are sending through the stream now.


    If you do a search for “sponsored tweets” or “promoted tweets” on Twitter, you’ll find a wide range of reactions to this newly announced program.  Here are a few that are representative of the overall feelings out there:

    • @jaymeslangrehr If Twitter wants to make $, why not just slap in contextual ads like Facebook & call it a day instead of selling sponsored tweets?
    • @andrewspong: To me, ‘promoted tweets’ are the antithesis of open convos
    • @vagabonn I don’t mind promoted tweets actually. Sometimes they might be relevant and so far they don’t seem too obnoxious. Twitter’s gotta make $$$
    • @cmsexpo Sponsored Tweets = Twitter finally gets their business model, and we get marketed to bloody hell.
    • @LukasC hurrah! Promoted Tweets should increase in visibility over time. Just getting started.
    • @marcinators Curious about the launch of Promoted Tweets – wary of effects on our tweeting experience
    • @JadedSkeptic Sponsored tweets. A bold progressive idea.
    • @rymccoleman I think promoted tweets are an interesting idea, but the promoted tweet shouldn’t stay at the top of the search when you refresh.

    A few reactions were very strong, saying that if Twitter moves forward with their promoted tweets plan, people will jump ship and say good bye to Twitter forever.  The question is, how long did people expect the company to continue without generating revenue?  And without charging users for an account, how else should a revenue model play out?  The suggestion that ads should just be placed alongside the stream, as on Facebook, isn’t much different.  The ads are on your page, and whether they’re on the side or integrated into your stream, you have the option of reading or ignoring them.  The preferable part about having them as part of your stream, again, is that this model measures an ad’s relevance, which is good for marketers and consumers.

    Bottom line is that the model has been rolled out, and it’s likely here to stay.  As information is made available about pricing and other specifics, we’ll see if the program is for everyone or just the big players, but it’s likely that there will be some sort of opportunity for everyone.  Twitter has proven to be a sensible company to date, and they’re liable to remain such.

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    18 Responses to “Promoted Tweets” Twitter Ads a Game Changer? Oh Yeah

    1. Genite April 14, 2010 at 5:24 am #

      In my opinion, if Twitter will maintain quality of his promoted tweets than it will be unaffected by any bad things because, every big sites like Facebook Linkedin have its own unique revenue model and they are running successfully today.
      What you think?

    2. karasu emlak April 14, 2010 at 9:48 am #

      I wonder what google thinks about this new way twitter having now!

    3. Baby Gifts April 14, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

      This is important because it will force marketers to further the shift toward earned opportunities, by tying in even this paid media with quality and relevance even further than AdWords’ Quality Score does.

    4. Credit Girl April 15, 2010 at 10:01 am #

      There will definitely be a shift in atmosphere on Twitter. Many people use Twitter to promote now so I can see why Twitter is taking on this kind of perspective.

    5. Samantha Milner April 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

      Hi guys,

      Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      Kind regards,


    6. Laptop Briefcases April 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

      It was inevitable that twitter would eventually use ads on their website. I do like how they have resonance for ads to limit the number of junk ads that show up. Nobody will care much about this one ad showing up in their searches, but it will be interesting to see what other ads they implement and the reaction to those. Since twitter was left ad-free for so long, I think some users will be put off by the ads and go elsewhere.

    7. Migraine Causes April 17, 2010 at 10:21 am #

      I like when any good site make something new to beat google because google is ruling everything.

    8. used tires April 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

      To be honest, I don’t really mind ads on Twitter as long as they’re somewhat relevant or not bordering on intrusive. We all knew that they’d go this way sooner or later. Their popularity is simply too much to pass it up.

      Till then,


    9. Payday Loan Lenders April 19, 2010 at 2:58 am #

      I did not know about this and my reaction is neutral but still I would prefer lesser of such things on twitter because sometimes it becomes too meddlesome.

    10. sell your property April 19, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

      It’s an important move for Twitter – now they have a business model it’s going to have to work; and that means giving ROI to advertisers.I suspect most people on Twitter are there for interaction not shopping; it’s the same on Facebook.

    11. handmade holiday gift ideas April 20, 2010 at 2:18 am #

      Can i Placed twitter ads on my Blog also??

    12. handmade holiday gift ideas April 20, 2010 at 2:18 am #

      Just one more quiz is this that how can i Placed it on the blog??

    13. Inexpensive Laptops April 20, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

      I think it is about time they do something for revenue. They couldn’t keep up over an extended amount of time unless they would be able to come up with some form of monetization. I do think this is a good idea in terms of advertising as they are somewhat making sure that there is the right type of relevance to the ads and to what is being searched. This could be likened to the quality score ratings for adwords. Nice idea I think!

    14. Game Critic April 23, 2010 at 3:16 am #

      I feel its about time big websites start monetizing targeted content instead of having banner or text advertisement. I feel this is a great and innovative way of advertising.

    15. Gary G April 26, 2010 at 9:36 am #

      It is foolish to think Twitter was to continue running a business without generating any revenue. Twitter is a great personal and business tool and it appears Twitter has been able to come up with a revenue stream that doesn’t really compromise the foundation of open communication that Twitter is based on!

    16. Romantic Room April 27, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

      I think it is a step in the right direction for them. Their big revenue model will come from controlling auto-replys. Twitter needs to set up their service such that if someone asks a question, auto-replys with ads will be returned, hopefully answering questions with commercial applications.


    17. Mukundan Srinvasan June 8, 2010 at 8:19 am #

      a real inovative way of advertising. Thanks for sharing.

    18. Gifts for Men July 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      I think a bigger problem for twitter are bots sending out links to porn and other extreme content.

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