My first reaction when I heard the news that Twitter is officially launching ads was, "so what?"
It's not really a huge surprise that the microblogging service has finally developed a platform to make money. I think Twitter co-founder Biz Stone says it best in a recent blog post: "Believe me, when your name is Biz and you're a co-founder of Twitter, it also means putting yourself at the mercy of folks like Stephen Colbert who hit home runs with lines like, 'So, I assume that 'Biz' in 'Biz Stone' does not stand for Business Model.' " In other words, it's about time.
With these new "Promoted Tweets," advertisers will be able to pay to have messages inserted within the Twitter search stream. This means that when you search for keywords, such as "Red Bull," users could now see messages for free drinks "promoted" by Red Bull at the top of search results. Pretty straightforward, definitely nothing revolutionary (or as blogger Liz Gannes says in a headline about this recent news, "What Were You Expecting, a Pony?).
While some diehard tweeters might find these ads intrusive, it's good news for all of us who rely on Twitter for personal or professional reasons and want the company to have a future. Moreover, I think many of us are comfortable with online advertisements, and choose to ignore them if they're of no interest. For example, when I make a joke about sneezing at the sight of a cat via a message in my Gmail account, I choose not to click on the ad for cold medicine that promptly appears above my in-box. Compared to Google's approach, Twitter is simply dipping its big toe into these new ad waters.
Also, pimping on Twitter is nothing new. Companies and individuals have been doing it since the dawn of the site "way" back in 2007. From authors promoting their books, to shoemakers promoting their footwear, to restaurants promoting their grub, it's been a long time since Twitter has existed as a "pure" community of users sharing ideas about what they're doing now.
The big question now is whether or not tweeters will click on these new ads. My guess is yes, but then again, the Twitter crowd can be a fickle bunch. Whatever happens, this news is simply a move in the right direction for Twitter and probably won't affect the average user all that much. Now I've got to wrap up this article so I can pimp it on Twitter for Globetechnology (although no one is paying anyone for this online promotion).