Twitter Takes Next Step with Advertising

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Twitter recently introduced the latest aspect of its advertising plan called Promoted Tweets to Followers. The move allows companies to put tweets including special announcements, offers, and more into their followers' streams. These paid posts are inserted near the top of users' streams to ensure that they will be seen even if users are not online when they are published.

At this point, Best Western, Dell, Starbucks, and Gatorade are among a small group of advertisers included in Twitter’s initial release of the platform. However, the company said it would expand to other advertisers in the coming weeks.

Have you noticed any of these paid posts in your Twitter stream? Let us know.

While Promoted Tweets to Followers provides a large increase in the number of ads that brands can distribute, it also provides a large increase in the number of ads that Twitter users see. For brands, this is obviously a good move, but what about users?

Li Evans, the CEO and Co-founder of LiBeck Integrated Marketing, told us that, users would probably object to the ads at first but that, over time, they would get used to them just like they did after Google and Facebook incorporated ads. If advertisers take advantage of the engaged audience that wants to hear about their brand, she believes that users will find the paid posts helpful.

"If the advertisers are giving valuable tweets or valuable information, you might expect it or want it," she said.

In an effort to appease users that were not happy about the promoted tweets, the company also announced a filtering service for users. This service allows users to mark certain tweets as sensitive. Evans explained that social networks have a difficult job on their hands since they constantly have to balance user and brand needs. She believes that this was Twitter's way of avoiding a backlash about the paid posts.

Interestingly enough, Promoted Tweets to Followers is Twitter's boldest move yet in its effort to make money. Early on, it seemed that Twitter was trying to avoid advertising at all costs, but as Evans explained, the company needs to make a profit.

"Even though this was a community, and it was a free tool, they still have to pay the bills," she pointed out.

She went on to say that Twitter realizes its potential because people are using it in very smart ways. For this reason, Twitter is taking steps such as Promoted Tweets to Followers in order to control this potential itself.

The move is actually said to be part of bigger plan that is supposed to be released later this year. Evans indicated that this bigger plan might include promoted chats and conversations or something in relation to Twitter's firehose that it was selling to Google.

What do you think about Promoted Tweets to Followers?

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