Will Twitter's Advertising Scheme Work?
It's fairly innocuous, but it might not deliver the cash
Twitter is finally getting serious about making money. On Tuesday, the marginally profitable social networking site will begin advertising to users. Ripping a page out of Google's playbook, the new ad platform Promoted Tweets will charge per thousand impressions. The sponsored tweets (see above picture) will appear in users' feeds. But that's just the beginning. Twitter will eventually switch to an ad model called "resonance." Under this system, sponsored tweets will be scored based on how users interact with it (clicking it, retweeting it, favorite'ing it, etc). If users aren't interacting with a particular ad, Twitter will drop it and refund the advertiser. Is this a good idea? Will it generate cash?
- Smart and Effective, applauds Jon Burg: "Exposure based on relevancy, not just keywords. This will likely reward brands with the most relevant and engaging messages, which is a win for the strategists over the screamers."
- I've Heard of This Before, writes John Batelle author of The Search. "Sounds an awful lot like the parameters that made AdWords a major success, if you ask me. I'm not predicting Promoted Tweets will travel the same path, but it sure would have been dumb to ignore the lessons of the most successful digital advertising format in the history of the Web."
- Doesn't Look Like a Cash Cow, writes Murad Ahmed at the Times of London: "But is it enough? At the moment, advertisers are being offered a single ad that not that many people will see. How valuable could that possibly be? It doesn’t sound like the billion-dollar machine that Google has built."
- Bravo Twitter! cheers Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web: "This is great: it's relatively non-invasive, nothing too crazy, nothing terribly exploitative. Some people who insist on reading every Tweet in their stream will probably be annoyed once they find ads in it, but there are already lots of unofficial ads being published on Twitter and maybe this will break those people of the habit of obsessing over every little message."
- Execution Will Be Everything, advises Dan Nosowitz at Fast Company: "Ads are no fun for users, of course. It'll be slightly annoying to see sponsored Tweets in with the updates you actually want to read. But if Twitter does this carefully, and it sounds like they are, these Promoted Tweets might actually be good for advertisers and only marginally annoying for users. I'd probably click on that ad for a local comedy show--Twitter just needs to get the right ads to the right users."