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Twitter Advertising is Here — But Where Is It?

April 19th, 2010 posted by · No Comments

Twitter flicked the switch less than a week ago on its new sponsored tweets advertising platform. Early reviews have been mixed, but for the most part, users are pleased that the new ad platform isn’t intrusive on their normal use of Twitter.

Users may not have noticed the ads already, as they appear when you perform a search on the site ( But you won’t always see the ads if an advertiser isn’t targeting a keyword you happen to be searching for. The fact that the platform is still fairly new probably contributes to that fact, but big brands like Starbucks and Best Buy have already signed up to be advertising partners with the micro-blogging site.

It’s still a bit surprising that Twitter hasn’t been making any money up until this point, but they did just receive over $100 million from investors to explore further ad revenue strategies. As long as they don’t turn it too corporate like MySpace did a few years ago, I don’t see Twitter selling out anytime soon. Even Facebook has managed to keep its ad platform out of the way of a user’s social media experience. If Twitter can manage to do the same, but still be successful, it’s a win-win for both the site and the user.

On the topic of spotting the ads themselves … I’ve seen three so far, out of about 40 searches. In an ideal world, there wouldn’t ever be any form of paid advertising on Twitter, but realistically, advertising has been prevalent on the site for years. Think of how companies use Twitter to communicate with their customers, like Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Dell, Southwest Airlines, etc. All of these big brands aren’t just on Twitter to chit-chat with their clients — they’re there to market and promote themselves, including promotions or deals.

Maybe the paid advertisements will cut down on the interaction companies make with their customers, but it should only supplement their efforts and not completely change them. In the end, both the advertiser and user will need to adjust to the trends in the marketplace, but hopefully the Twitter experience isn’t compromised during the process.

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