Prepare yourself for an onslaught, as political ads have just made their debut on Twitter.
As the Republican presidential primary battle heats up, candidates and interest groups will now be able to make sure that their message is seen by everyone on Twitter. The first candidate to make use of a political promoted tweet is Mitt Romney.
The ads are not yet appearing in users' main timelines, but are working in the same way that all other promoted stuff works on Twitter. That means you'll start to see promoted tweets when you search for specific topics and people, promoted users in the top right corner of the UI and promoted trending topics.
Move over #Transformers3 and #NFLMobile, welcome #BachmannForPrez.
Here's the first promoted tweet, which serves the function of a 140 character political ad -
Note that when you hover over the "promoted tweet" part, it says "Paid for by Romney for President, Inc."
TechCrunch has obtained a statement from Twitter regarding how these promoted political tweets will work:
Starting today, Twitter has begun to accept political advertising. Effective immediately, candidates and their political committees will be able to purchase Twitter’s full suite of Promoted Products, including Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends.
We’re piloting the program with a small group of presidential candidates and national party committees. These partners will be running ads in the coming week. We will expand the pilot to include other candidates and committees as we build up our political sales team.
In support of this strategy, Peter Greenberger is joining Twitter as a sales director, heading up our political sales efforts. Peter is an innovator and veteran in the market for online political advertising. He joins Twitter after 4 years with Google, where he built and managed the company’s first political sales team and managed the company’s work with electoral campaigns, committees, and issue advocacy groups. Peter’s contacts and expertise will be extremely valuable assets for Twitter as we grow this part of our business. He will be based in Washington, D.C., where he will build and oversee a dedicated political sales team.
We’re launching two small UI tweaks to make it easy for people to distinguish political advertising from other advertising on Twitter. First, we’re launching a new purple “Promoted” icon that will be used to identify political advertising on Twitter. Second, we’re adding the ability for campaigns who advertise on Twitter to include a full, FEC-compliant disclaimer when users hover over their Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends or Promoted Accounts.
Today’s news is a natural extension of the role Twitter is already playing in the political world. Twitter has become a more mainstream presence in politics, both domestically and around the world.
"We’ve had five years to watch and observe how people are using the platform organically and we know politicians are active on the platform, and we know that consumers enjoy the messages from those politicians,” Twitter’s president of global revenue, Adam Bain told Politico. “We’re excited about the election cycle, and we think that ads both in the timeline and in search are a huge opportunity.”
It looks like your TV and radio won't be the only places that you'll be subjected to campaigning in the coming months. What do you think about promoted political ads on Twitter? Let us know in the comments.