Twitter’s Ad Platform Shows Some Savvy

    March 24, 2009

So why the quotation marks around the word ads in the title? It’s like that age old question of if a tree fallstwitter-bird in the forest but there is no one there to hear it does it make a sound? This version however reads like, “If you place and “ad” on a website and nobody paid for it is it an “ad”?

In a continuation of the ExecTweets post of earlier TechCrunch reports that more and more third party apps are appearing as ads on the Twitter site. The only difference is that they did not need to pay to be there. In fact, Twitter is doing the courting.

Tweetie developer Loren Brichter says that he actually isn’t paying Twitter a cent to get featured on the site. Twitter came to him, explaining that it wants to promote projects like Tweetie which promote “variety, relevance, and value” (apparently a number of Twitter employees use the app).

Twitter is starting to show some business savvy and brilliance here. Rather than waiting too long to introduce exactly how they intend to make money to survive they are taking advantage of the new wave of Twitter users that are still relatively new to the service and maybe more willing to grow with it. There is less likely to be a hissy fit from someone who sees the service as useful regardless of a few ads vs. the longtime “purists” who will certainly decry the end of Twitter Nation as they know it.

By helping users get more use from the application through promotion of third party apps that further engrain the use of Twitter into the lives of its users, the folks at Twitter are in effect creating a very powerful ad network of sorts. You think the folks at Tweet Deck would be cool with rev share ad agreements to support their business? They don’t exist if Twitter ceases to exist so why not? Would Tweet Deck users revolt? This one wouldn’t but who knows.

It will come down to the people who adamantly oppose the commercialization of the Internet (which are fewer and fewer and are starting to look like elitists who don’t get that the world is bigger than just them) v. those who like the service regardless of ads or not. Actually it will come down to Twitter and its investors making smart business decisions that are about a service making money. Sure they look like Internet hippies right now because of their sharing attitude but do you think that investors are concerned about the Internet’s ethos or the Internet’s profit?

So where do you land? Ads or no ads? The end of Twitter or the start of a real company?