The golden age of tweeting without being barraged by ads will end this summer. Twitter’s new product, “Promoted Tweets To Followers,” which places targeted ads in the timeline, is readying to launch by early August, according to All Things D.
Twitter has struggled to make profits since its start in 2006, so adding in new ways to advertise to the service’s 200+ million users is a no-brainer. Adding promoted tweets in a user’s timeline will help guarantee more eyeballs to marketers and help Twitter sell advertising at a higher rate.
The biggest issue with promoted tweets and other new ways of advertising is the potential to alienate Twitter’s active user base. Earlier this year, Twitter introduced a feature called QuickBar to its iPhone app that placed trending topics and ads permanently at the top of the timeline. Users were so distraught with the change that Twitter removed it. Instead of going the QuickBar route, the promoted tweets coming in August will flow down the timeline just like other tweets.
Twitter has been testing the new promoted tweets inside the Hootsuite third-party client, but this new product will work on Twitter.com and eventually move out to other official Twitter clients as well.
A report yesterday indicated that Twitter is in the process of raising $400 million, which would value the company at $8 billion. One way to help attract those investors will be to show them the company can make real profits.
As a frequent Twitter user, I’m fully supportive of the move to add occasional ads to my timeline if it will help Twitter stay in business. Hopefully, Twitter will keep the ads targeted accurately to my declared interests and sneak ads my way in a non-annoying fashion.