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If you follow Twitter or online advertising at all you probably know by now that Twitter has officially revealed it’s source of monetization: “promoted tweets.” People have been debating for the last few years how Twitter is ever going to make money, promoted tweets was one of the common ideas.

If you’re unfamiliar with the all new promoted tweets here’s a quick recap:

  • Promoted tweets are essentially ads placed at the top of search results for given keywords or keyphrases
  • There is only a small handful of advertisers being let in at the moment
  • Promoted tweets must receive a certain ratio of clicks/replies and positive feedback to stay up making quality important
  • Promoted tweets are based on a cost-per-thousand pricing model

I’ve had a few days to digest all of the information Twitter has released about it and have started to compile some thoughts on it.

I’m a little upset the platform isn’t self-serve and open everyone, I was really looking forward to mastering Twitter’s advertising platform as soon as it came out. On the other hand, I can fully understand why Twitter is making smaller steps and approaching it this way for a few reasons:

  • Most ad platforms begin this way to both work out bugs and test the waters so the experience isn’t ruined.
  • This is all new to Twitter, they need to keep a close eye on it for awhile. Striking a balance that doesn’t alienate the spoiled ad-free user base is going to be tricky.
  • Big budget advertisers are going to be willing to drop A LOT more cash on this. Most of them have no idea what they’re doing and know they need to “get on this Twitter thing” which will result in them paying ridicously high cpm rates. (can’t say I blame them for taking advantage)

A lot of Twitter users are outraged because they don’t understand how much it takes to run a website like Twitter. They’re used to Twitter being ad free and want it to stay that way – how dare you Twitter? That brings up what I feel will be the main challenge for Twitter; keeping the promoted tweets aligned with the users best interest. If the promoted tweets further the Twitter experience instead of harm it then Twitter will have NO problem killing it with this. TechCrunch posted a sample promoted tweet that made me see how powerful this can really be. Here’s the promoted tweet:

starbucks promoted tweet Twitters New Advertising Platform: Promoted Tweets

I think Twitter can really make this work. This promoted tweet gave me an idea of the possibilities here for these type of ads to give the user MORE value as opposed to taking it away by an onslaught of useless promoted tweets. As you can see, Starbucks is offering a free cup of brewed coffee if you bring in a reuseable tumbler. If I was searching for Starbucks on Twitter and saw this I’d be pretty damn happy as opposed to seeing a random advertisement that isn’t applicable to anything within my interests.

All in all, I must say that I’m glad Twitter decided to do something. They have missed out on literally millions of dollars in revenue taking so long. I hope that this ad platform will eventually become self-serve and open to everyone because I’d really like to try running some promoted tweets and getting a feel of what the Twitter crowd can do for marketers.

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