Twitter Promoted Tweets Ads

No Comments » Written on April 15th, 2010 by
Categories: Contextual Advertising

Twitter have announced a new advertising model, called Promoted Tweets.

Promoted Tweets are paid tweets that appear at the top of Twitter’s search results. The promoted tweet is much the same as a normal tweet in that you can retweet it, reply to it, or mark it as a favourite. The only difference is that it is sponsored. The sponsorship is marked.

Promoted Tweets work much like a banner ad – for now. Advertisers pay per thousand views, however the ads also have a type of quality score. Twitter rewards ads that “resonate” with the audience. Presumably ads that don’t resonate get downgraded or dropped.

You will start to see Tweets promoted by our partner advertisers called out at the top of some search results pages. We strongly believe that Promoted Tweets should be useful to you. We’ll attempt to measure whether the Tweets resonate with users and stop showing Promoted Tweets that don’t resonate”

Pilot Testing

This advertising isn’t available to the public yet, but it pays to watch the system in the pilot stage, so when it does open up, you’ll have a good idea of how to work it. We’ll be watching and reporting on it, too.

That’s if it succeeds.

It will be very interesting to see if this type of advertising translates to social media, especially a service with such narrow functionality compared to, say, Facebook.


Does Twitter have the depth/volume? Obscure topics on Google can be worth a few cents. How about obscure topics on Twitter? Do they have the volume?

And another question:

Will The Ads Stay Relevant? If you don’t have the volume, then advertising is either not going to display much, in which case the advertisers won’t put much effort into the channel, or Twitter may show ads across broader topics, which may increase page views, but decrease relevance. One way they could get around this is by using demographic profiling, as opposed to keywords. i.e. we know these people are interested in X, no matter what they happen to be talking about at the time, so we’ll show them advertising for X.

And another question – perhaps the biggest issue: will the social media user base go for it?

It is smart of Twitter to stage the roll-out on their search function first. Users who are conversing with one another won’t (I assume) see the ads. People who search have become accustomed to advertising in Google search, so will be more likely to accept it. Once enough people accept advertising as being a part of Twitter, it becomes easier to gain acceptance when rolling it out across other functions.

But this would be a big departure in terms of how Twitter works. People follow people they have chosen to follow. How will they react to seeing Tweets from people they haven’t chosen to follow, namely paid advertisers? No doubt Twitter have considered this. Perhaps they will make a clear separation.

Like with Google Adwords, this is all going to come down to relevance. Or resonance. As deemed by the user.

Interesting times for advertisers. Stay tuned!

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