Twitter finally unveiled its plan today for how the global microblogger plans to generate revenue.
Using Google’s business model of selling keyword advertising, Twitter plans to start selling what it calls “Promoted Tweets.”
When someone searches Twitter for a keyword or phrase, Twitter will generate its list of real-time tweets from users who have mentioned that word or phrase. But scattered throughout those user tweets will be “Promoted Tweets,” generated by companies who pay Twitter to advertise with specific keyword.
Twitter will label Promoted Tweets when advertisers are paying, but they will appear as ordinary tweets when they feed to a timeline of someone who follows that particular brand.
Twitter also plans to control spam by eliminating Promoted Tweets when people don’t interact with them – replying, retweeting or favoriting.
“Promoted Tweets must meet a higher bar—they must resonate with users,” Twitter’s blog stated. “That means if users don’t interact with a Promoted Tweet… the Promoted Tweet will disappear.”
Advertisers that have signed up for Twitter’s Promoted Tweet program include Best Buy, Bravo, Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Starbucks and Virgin America, according to Twitter’s blog.
My reaction is that this could add a whole new dimension to the concept of advertising. Advertisers can now monitor current events, and buy Promoted Tweets whenever a high-profile event relevant to their business blows up on the news or in pop culture.
For example, let’s say Google chooses Kansas City for its universal Internet project. Web-related businesses in Kansas City could then buy Promoted Tweets on Twitter under the keywords “Google chooses Kansas City.” Web managers who follow that kind of high-profile tech news may then search Twitter for reactions, come across some Kansas City businesses relevant to their industry and choose to look into those particular companies.
Promoted Tweets could also enhance fundraising efforts during natural disasters. The American Red Cross could advertise Promoted Tweets under the keywords, “Haiti earthquake,” and reach users who search that topic.
And that’s all I have to say about that.