Twitter tw*ts ad networks
Except its own
Twitter has banned third-party ad networks from its micro-blogging service, less than six weeks after launching an ad platform of its own.
Dick Costolo, Twitter's chief operating officer, announced the change on Monday with a blog post, saying the company would soon update its API terms of service to make things official. "Third party ad networks are not necessarily looking to preserve the unique user experience Twitter has created. They may optimize for either market share or short-term revenue at the expense of the long-term health of the Twitter platform," the post reads.
"Secondly, the basis for building a lasting advertising network that benefits users should be innovation, not near-term monetization. Twitter is uniquely dependent on and responsible for the long-term health and value of the platform."
On April 19, the company unveiled what it calls a Promoted Tweets program, which will see tweets from ad partners pop to the top of certain Twitter search results. An advertiser pays according to the old CPM model, forking over dollars for every thousand people who see its ad, and when an advertiser is paying for impressions, the tweets are labeled as "promoted."
The new terms of service for the Twitter API are now live, and they add that third-parties must pay Twitter anytime tweets are tweeted as part of an ad sale. "In cases where Twitter content is the basis (in whole or in part) of the advertising sale, we require you to compensate us," the terms read.
The move is a mighty blow to services like Ad.ly and 140 Proof that were built to provide advertising on Twitter, but Costolo has urged third parties to find other ways of selling around the Twitter "timeline," its stream of 140-character mini-messages.
"Companies are selling real-time display ads or other kinds of mobile ads around the timelines on many Twitter clients, and we derive no explicit value from those ads," he says. "That’s fine. We imagine there will be all sorts of other third-party monetization engines that crop up in the vicinity of the timeline."
In defending the terms of service change, Costolo also said the change is a way of ensuring that Twitter can pay for itself. "It is important to keep in mind that Twitter bears all the costs of maintaining the network, protecting the Tweet stream against spam, supporting user requests, and scaling the service," he said.
"Indeed, Twitter will bear many of the support costs associated with any third-party paid Tweets, as Twitter receives support emails related to anything a user sees in a tweet stream. The third-party bears few of these costs by comparison." ®
"Twitter is uniquely dependent on and responsible for the long-term health and value of the platform."
We still haven't made any real money or come up with a business plan for this toy.
Twitter never had a plan to make ads reasonably fit into the setup. I quit using twitter after one of the hacks they had and never looked back.
I think El Reg pointed out how well the "confirmed accounts" work since Barack Obamas account was confirmed and then he was on a plane saying he didn't even know how to use it / never used it.
Something tells me whatever they do, it'll shun users.
"the company would soon update its API terms of service to make things official"
Gotta love the Web culture of today.
What kind of management is that where you just go and make changes and, if it sticks, then you change your TOS ?
Does anyone have the slightest notion of what a CONTRACT actually is ?
A contract is an agreement between two parties that engage themselves to the clauses of the contract. Once signed, no clause can be changed without the agreement of BOTH parties.
Frankly, I blame the EULA for implementing this kind of mindset. The EULA is supposed to be a contract, but it's materialized by a web page that can be changed by the company on a whim, without any semblance of acceptance by the customer, and no judge has found anything lacking in the process.
Now we have companies that rip up the contract and make up a new one without consent from anyone else, making things official after the fact.
Then again, this is Twitter we're talking about after all, not something important. But still, I would hardly be surprised if a class-action lawsuit came up. And the complainants would be, in my mind, entirely right.