For the first time since Twitter showed up on the web scene 4 years ago, they have announced advertising over their network. Companies already use Twitter to promote their products and services, but they face one fundamental problem–they have to have followers to get their message out.
This problem has now been solved by the use of Promoted Tweets that will appear at the top of search results very similar to that of Google’s AdWords program. Tuesday is the day that an initial rollout of 10 advertisers containing the likes of Starbucks and Best Buy will provide Twitter users with the first ads. However, these ads will only be visible to 2-10% of users for the time being. I’m not sure if these users will be chosen randomly or if it’ll be based on account usage, amount of followers, etc.
Twitter has long been slightly opposed to the whole advertising thing, suggesting that ‘ads could irritate users’, but the reality is that venture capital doesn’t last forever and if we expect Twitter to stay free, they have to make money somehow. Twitter says that in time, these ads may start appearing in the stream of posts that users see when they log in.
There is some good in all this; businesses will now have the ability to promote their offerings without having to first promote themselves to get followers. As a user, you no longer need to actually read any tweets for promotions and whatnot–just login to the site and click on every ad you want!
And just what kind of ads can we expect to see in all this? In the beginning, I’m sure all will be fine and dandy, but what happens once all the affiliates or spammers (is there a difference?) get on? Will we be faced with another over-saturated market of useless products and ebooks? I sure hope Twitter can get this one right. Who knows…maybe they’ll set the new bar for how advertising is done online.
My two cents
It may seem like I’m completely against all this and most of you might wonder why considering I run a website about how to make a profitable business online, but I’m really not–if it’s done right. What I am against is when legitimate ads are washed out by spammers and thousands of the exact same affiliate links because it causes users to become “blind” to ads and overall, it creates a horrible experience.
But I’m openminded…let’s see what Twitter’s got before we start judging!