Twitter unveils advertising plans

Twitter has outlined how it plans to monetise its site with the launch of its first advertising model.

Twitter will monetise its site by allowing brands to pay to post ’Promoted Tweets’, updates which will feature in search results as well as in their feeds, allowing the brands to reach a wider audience than just their followers.

The first set of advertisers include Best Buy, Bravo, Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Starbucks and Virgin America.

Users will now begin to see sponsored tweets at the top of some search pages. They will take the form of an ordinary tweet from the brand but will be clearly labelled as ’Promoted’ to distinguish paid for tweets to normal tweets.

According to Twitter, they are ensuring that the ad model does not harm the user experience by ensuring that sponsored tweets “meet a higher bar” than regular tweets, with Twitter getting rid of any Promoted Tweets that users are not interacting with by retweeting, favouriting or replying.

Biz Stone, founder of Twitter, said, “Although our services extend beyond the Web, Twitter ranks as one of the most popular sites on the Internet. Over the years, we’ve resisted introducing a traditional Web advertising model because we wanted to optimize for value before profit. The open exchange of information creates opportunities for individuals, organizations, and businesses alike. We recognized value in this exchange and planned to amplify it in a meaningful and relevant manner.”

Twitter changed its terms of service last September ahead of plans to introduce an ad model, at the time brands and media agencies said they would welcome an ad model as it would provide brands with the opportunity to increase their reach on the site (new media age, 11 September 2009).

However, commenting on reports that Twitter was to launch ads in search results last month, brands were unsure of the viability of ads within the microblogging site (new media age, 4 March 2010 ).

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