Feeds

Twitter to auction off words

Advertising? At last!

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Twitter will start auctioning off keywords, gluing promoted tweets to the top of search results, but won't start pushing out advertising until the end of the year.

The new service is called "Prompted Tweets" and allows a company to pay to have a specific tweet promoted to the top of search results, with a small note saying who's sponsoring the result. Sponsored tweets pushed out to users won't come until the end of the year, as Twitter treads extremely carefully in its search for a proper business model.

Twitter desperately needs some revenue - a couple of content-licensing deals aren't going to pay the bills and the VC cash will, eventually, run out. So come the end of 2010, Twitter expects to be able to push advertising tweets out to users - someone subscribed to a load of travel writers might get adverts for an airline - but for the moment advertising will only appear in search results.

Advertisers bid for a keyword and the winner gets displayed - only one advert per search, so those just following Twitter feeds won't see anything at all. So far so Google, but Twitter reckons it can make things more Web 2.0 by agreeing to pull an advert if it lacks "resonance" with the twitterati.

That "resonance" is measured by the number of people who interact with the tweet such as clicking on a link, replying, or passing the tweet on. If an advert lacks "resonance" then it will be automatically pulled, and the advertiser stops paying for it. The idea is that measuring "resonance" will ensure that adverts are relevant and interesting to the masses, not to mention preparing the ground for the next phase of revenue generation.

That involves pushing adverts direct to people who've subscribed to related topics, and is dangerous ground for a service which has all the stickiness of greased Teflon. Details of the next phase aren't at all clear; Twitter will want to see how phase one works out before explaining how its pushed tweets will be different from spam.

Twitter will have to tread very carefully to avoid offending its fickle customers, who've grown accustomed to getting everything for free. It's one thing to claim you'll only push adverts your users find engaging, it's quite another to actually do it. It's going to be very interesting to see how Twitter goes about the attempt, and if it can pull it off. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Do Moan! MONSTER 6-day EMAIL OUTAGE hits Domain Monster
Customers freaked out by frightful service
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.