Well, Twitter is all a-twitter this morning about their big announcement to finally make some money via â€œPromoted Tweets.â€ In a casual (if a bit vague) blog post, co-founder Biz Stone lays out the high level points of the program Q&A style with promises of more info today from COO Dick Costolo at the AdAge Digital Conference. So while we all wait in eager anticipation for more specific information about the program, here are the bullet points:
- The program will be introduced in phases. As Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicleâ€™s TechBlog points out, phase one will leverage Twitterâ€™s most valuable asset â€“ the data of its more than 20 million users, â€œTwitter’s real value lies in the aggregated information of its estimated 22.3 million users, surfaced by search, so it makes sense that the company would turn to this strength to make money.â€
- In phase one â€œPromoted Tweetsâ€ will show up only for searches on Twitter itself. No Promoted Tweets on Twitter apps yet.
- If you perform a search on a particular term that is relevant to one of the companies paying for the Promoted Tweet service, like those Google Sponsored Links at the top of a Google search, a tweet from the paying company will be displayed at the top of the search page. The New York Times article â€œTwitter Unveils Plans to Draw Money From Adsâ€ has a pretty fleshed out example of this using Starbucks,
Starbucks, for instance, often publishes Twitter posts about its promotions, like free pastries. But the messages quickly get lost in the thousands of posts from users who happen to mention meeting at Starbucks.
â€œWhen people are searching on Starbucks, what we really want to show them is that something is happening at Starbucks right now, and Promoted Tweets will give us a chance to do that,â€ said Chris Bruzzo, vice president of brand, content and online at Starbucks.
- In order for a Promoted Tweet to hold its ground at the top of the search page, itâ€™s gotta resonate babyâ€¦ people donâ€™t click it, retweet it, engage with itâ€¦ itâ€™s outta there. And Twitter will be following the results in order to tweak the programâ€¦ again like Google with its ever evolving, mysterious, and infamous algorithm.
- Twitter says these are not ads â€“ â€œSince all Promoted Tweets are organic Tweets, there is not a single â€˜adâ€™ in our Promoted Tweets platform that isnâ€™t already an organic part of Twitter. This is distinct from both traditional search advertising and more recent social advertising. Promoted Tweets will also be timely. Like any other Tweet, the connection between you and a Promoted Tweet in real-time provides a powerful means of delivering information relevant to you at the moment.â€
- First takers, or â€œpartnersâ€ Â include: Best Buy, Bravo, Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Starbucks, and Virgin America
- Next up? Â According to the Times, â€œ[Twitter] will show promoted posts in a userâ€™s Twitter stream, even if a user did not perform a search and does not follow the advertiser.â€ This leaves me wondering if a post to Twitter about the overwhelming Houston pollen count induced allergies this season will elicit a Claritin tweet inserted into my stream. Twitter is the most vague about phase 2 stating, â€œBefore we roll out more phases, we want to get a better understanding of the resonance of Promoted Tweets, user experience and advertiser value.â€
So there it is folksâ€¦ I reserve final judgment until I actually see it IRLâ€¦ (Update: I couldnâ€™t post to the blog fast enough and Mashable reports Promoted Tweets are already showing up for limited searches) I think phase 1 will go by with lots of initial fan fare, may even trend for a bit, and then will fall into the obscurity of the already accepted and ignored ads that float in the periphery of the likes of sites such as Google, Facebook, The New York Times and even National Geographic. I am curious to see how much traction Promoted Tweets will actually gain. I myself donâ€™t spend much time on a search.twitter.com â€“ though over coffee in the break room this morning I learned of few co-workers who do use twitter search as their almost exclusive local search tool.
Phase 2 however, has me itching already to get my feathers all ruffled up. I am trying to maintain my calm composure, with a â€œwait and seeâ€ attitudeâ€¦ but I gotta letcha know I feel pretty dang partial to my twitter stream being my own. I donâ€™t really have much love for the bullying bull-horn approach of most advertising campaigns and I feel like in the world of social media – where personal brands are more important than big brand loyalty and famous personalities have more followers than global news organizations – there is not going to be a great big love fest should Twitter choose to place paid tweets from mega-brands into the streams of its users.
For more on Twitter Promoted Tweets take your eye-balls on over to:
- The New York Times: Twitter Unveils Plans to Draw Money From Ads
- The New York Times: Tensions Rise for Twitter and App Developers
- Houston Chronicle TechBlog: Twitter finds a business model in Promoted Tweets
- Search.Twitter.com, Results for Promoted Tweets
- Mashable: Twitter Promoted Tweets Are Live
- The Huffington Post: Promoted Tweets: Twitter Ad Program To Draw Money From Corporate Advertising
- TechCrunch: â€œPromoted Tweetsâ€ Not Resonating Well On Twitter
(Thanx! for the pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessandthecity/3822639162/)