Twitter advertising models emerging, quickly

Well, it was inevitable–but I’ve got to say that I’m a bit surprised at how fast things are moving. While it’s still very early in the game, it looks like advertising and marketing activities are beginning to creep onto Twitter.

As regular readers of this blog know, I believe that Twitter can support advertising without ruining the experience. That doesn’t mean, however, that all models are equal. As in any other Net medium, spam is a pain, and reports are already surfacing of spammy advertisers following people. On the other hand, I do think Mashable‘s story, headlined “Twitter Spam Spirals Out of Control,” goes a bit overboard, as I, for one, haven’t attracted any spam followers yet.

More interesting than the spammers, by far, is the eBay auction by Twitter user @andrewbaron, who’s selling off his Twitter account and nearly 1,400 followers. With nearly a week left to go on the auction, Baron has already attracted 40 bidders. What’s more, the bids have now topped $1,500–valuing the followers at more than $1 each. While Baron doesn’t describe his follower list as a marketing opportunity, I’m doubting the people bidding on it see it as anything but that.

Then, you have rumors floating around that Twitter has begun testing out short advertising messages of its own over the past few days, allegedly within friend feeds. The company roundly denies this, and execs may be telling the truth, but it does seem likely that Twitter will need to try something like this fairly soon, as it’s currently not making money despite its smash success with users.

As for me, I’m enjoying the innocent, ad-free days of Twitter, but I’ll be OK with it when those days end. I suppose it’s possible that Twitter will monetize its users some other way, but advertising is so dead-on obvious a play that it seems inevitable.

You know, I never thought an ad medium would develop which makes PPC ads seem like novels. Writing for tiny Twitter spaces is going to be an art form all its own. — Anne

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14 responses to “Twitter advertising models emerging, quickly

  1. re: the art of writing twitter ads (Micro-Copy-Writing?), it would at least be a way to justify all the valuable time so many of us spend trying to cram our thoughts into 140 characters. Tweeting as a marketable skill — a new haven for the attention span challenged among us πŸ™‚

  2. Yeah, and those of us obsessed with being concise. Which I’m not. πŸ™‚

  3. at first i thought i was just getting extremely popular, i didn’t even realize all those people were spammers that started following me. (deals with blow to ego).

    anyway – i agree with you, advertising is such a natural fit with the model that there will soon be a day when we’re inundated with it on twitter. is that when we’ll move on? i guess we’ll have to see. but if you ask me, i don’t think advertising is as annoying on twitter, because you can always choose not to follow someone if they take up too much space.

    then again, if twitter itself starts cramming messages down, then we’re in bad shape.

  4. Hi LHG: Thanks for your thoughts. You know, I’m as big a hater of spam as any average Netizen, but I don’t see Twitter followers that way. Maybe they’re stalkers? In any event, I’m happy as long as I have control of the information.

    That being said, you’re right that Twitter could lose its character if we start being forced to consume messages from advertisers. Hope it doesn’t go that way. Honestly, I doubt that it will; I think the folks who run Twitter know better. That being said, you never know…


  5. I really like the prospect of advertising. The affiliate models, that seem so popular on the web these days, really inspire me to think of new ways to transmit information and inspire people to purchase products or give their attention.
    I count twitter among my favorite of the Web2.0’s out there and I feel it will outlast many of them. That being said, I really like Magpie. Plus you earn Euros! πŸ˜‰
    What advertising (other than spam-bots) do you see on Twitter?


  6. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Come on, people! Cough up for content

  7. Here is an up and coming Advertising Software Built Just For Twitter!

  8. Spamming is already getting out of control. be-a-magpie actually inspired us to launch betweeted, a “socially responsible” ad platform for Twitter.

  9. Great article. I recently launched my own unique Twitter ad network called Million Dollar Follow. You can view an example ad block here: (upper right hand column)

    To celebrate the launch I’m currently giving away 10k free advertising spots on the advertising network.

  10. I’ve been seeing some clever new ad formats emerging on TWITTER that don’t replicate the junk that we already ignore on web sites or email.

    Where brands can actually “start conversations” more than just Twit-Blasts, but, through AI “characters” can actually converse with back-and-forth dialogue.

    Fascinating stuff. I’m seeing market research and polling capabilities as well.

  11. Does anyone know exactly how twitter will be allowing advertising will it be through sponsored tweets or will there be banner positions or text links on users homepages.

  12. Discover the 6 deadly myths of online income that steal your money,time and keep you poor !

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