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Twitter Adds Ads

After months of anticipation, Twitter is ready to announce the addition of ads to their site. The popular site expects to bring in a steady stream of revenue from the ads. The advertisements will be placed in search results and there is some indication they maybe eventually added to users’ timelines. While not unexpected, the fact that Twitter adds ads isn’t making everyone happy.

Twitter has pitched the ads as non-intrusive. They will be geographically specific and user appropriate. The focus of the ads will be real time response. It is possible that Twitter will use a system similar to the one employed by FaceBook, which gives users the ability to opt out of specific ads.

While some users may be upset by the change, Twitter isn’t doing anything different than other popular social networking sites. The move to include ads, called ‘promoted tweets’, was prompted by a desire to monetize the site. The advertisements should be non-intrusive. Twitter plans to display only one ad per search result page. This ad will be located at the top of the page. It will also contain a notation recognizing it as a ‘sponsored update.’

The current program under which Twitter adds ads includes only six companies. These companies, all active Twitter users, will be carefully monitored. Twitter plans to review promotional tweets to determine how users react to them. Those that receive poor reviews will be removed. Eventually, Twitter will expand the list of advertisers to include more than the following six companies: Virgin America, Starbucks, Sony Pictures, Red bull, Bravo and Best Buy.

Not all users will see these promotional tweets. According to sources between 2 and 10% of users will see the ads, the rest won’t even realize that Twitter has changed their advertisement policy.

To be sure, if the policy and changes work, we can expect to see more of the same types of promotional tweets added. More users will likely come into contact with the paid result advertisements. The thought is that Twitter will develop a meaningful system allowing them to accurately judge which users should have which ads appear in their timelines.

Twitter is doing nothing more than taking advantage of a phenomenon that other social media sites are already exploiting. The free service will be supported by the advertisements to some extent, leaving most users to believe that they are a positive change.

When the news was released that Twitter adds ads, instead of an onslaught of unhappy users, it was pretty much unrecognized. The changes are not extensive or intrusive; leading most users and industry leaders to believe that the effect the new advertisement policy will have on everyday users will be small. In fact, the advertisements are likely to only allow interested users easy access to information they are already interested in. The changes made by Twitter will likely remain positive.

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