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Twitter Launches “Promoted Tweets”

Posted on Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, News, Social Media

Twitter is addressing the concern over its long-term viability as a revenue-generating business with the launch of its new ad platform called “Promoted Tweets” this week. Promoted tweets will essentially be tweets in the form of paid advertisements that will be placed at the top of the Twitter search results.

The current version of Twitter search is structured in a purely reverse-chronological order, with the newest tweets appearing at the top of the search results. Tweets by companies, therefore, can quickly be pushed further and further down the search results as time passes. Promoted Tweets will ensure that advertisers looking to get their brand message in front of a target audience won’t get buried in the stream of real-time posts. When a user searches for a keyword an advertiser purchased, a single Promoted Tweet will appear at the top of the search results, followed by organic results.   Here is an example from Twitter’s official blog:

Some of the key points on Promoted Tweets as first reported by Advertising Age and The New York Times:

  • Like any other tweets, users will be able to retweet or reply to it, passing along the noteworthy information around the twitter world.
  • Advertisers will be bidding on keywords on a CPM basis for now, but Twitter will be introducing other bidding options in the future.
  • Promoted Tweets will be clearly labeled as “promoted” and will be highlighted yellow when rolled over with a cursor to distinguish them from regular tweets.
  • Only one Promoted Tweet will be displayed on the search results page.
  • Twitter will also place Promoted Tweets within the search results of third-party clients such as Twitterberry and Tweetie.
  • Eventually, Twitter plans to develop and measure what it calls “resonance”, a performance model similar to Google’s Quality Score that will be based on how much a tweet is retweeted, favorited, and replied to, or how often a user clicks through to a posted link.

According to market research firm ComScore, Twitter attracted 73.5 million unique individuals in January 2010, with an annual growth rate of 1,105%, making it a potentially attractive new advertising channel for a wide range of brands and individuals.  Best Buy, Virgin America, Starbucks and Bravo, all of which have active Twitter profiles, will be some of the first advertisers to test out this new platform.

About Grace Kobayashi

Grace Kobayashi is a graduate student at the University of Southern California in the Master’s in Human Behavior program She was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and after graduating from high school, moved to Tokyo to do her undergraduate studies at Waseda University. She is working as an intern for the Client Services team at The Search Agency.

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5 Responses to “Twitter Launches “Promoted Tweets””

  1. frank lee says:

    thanks for the info here Grace. Do you know when this will launch?

  2. grace kobayashi says:

    I believe it launched on Tuesday; I tested it out by searching “Starbucks” just now and a promoted tweet from April 9th showed up at the top…Since this isn’t the newest tweet from Starbucks, I’m assuming that they can pick and choose which exact tweet will be a promoted tweet.

  3. NookSurfer says:

    I’m kind of having mixed thoughts about this. Businesses today are already using Twitter as a form of advertising. I want to say that 75% of the tweets I see everyday are in some shape or form, advertising. Now that Twitter wants to cash in on their business, will this increase and encourage more businesses to participate or will this reduce the amount of spam we see?

  4. Alec Green says:

    Frank – Twitter hasn’t announced when promoted tweets will be available to all advertisers, or even how an advertiser can sign up for the program. Seems like they’re going to gauge initial reaction before rolling it out more broadly.

  5. tom mcmillin says:

    So only a handful of companies can buy promoted tweets right now. But if you can’t wait and want to do a test drive, try one of two alternative options provided by either OneRiot or TweetUp.


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