Twitter unveils search ad platform

Robert Clark
14 Apr 2010

Twitter has taken the wraps off its long-awaited search advertising platform, aimed at monetizing the millions of tweets each day.

The ad program, called Promoted Tweets, works by selling keyword ads to advertisers such as Best Buy, Sony Pictures and Starbucks who have signed on as initial partners.

Announcing the move, Twitter co-CEO Biz Stone said just one clearly-labeled Promoted Tweet would be placed on the search results page.

Later, Twitter plans to show promoted posts in the stream of Twitter posts, based on how relevant they might be to a particular user.

Stone said the Promoted Tweets will retain all the functionality of a regular Tweet, but “must resonate with users… if users don't interact with a Promoted Tweet to allow us to know that the Promoted Tweet is resonating with them, such as replying to it, favoriting it, or Retweeting it, the Promoted Tweet will disappear.”

As the Good Morning Silicon Valley blog described Twitter’s approach to advertising as “cautiously deliberate,” offering a platform that works for advertisers that also doesn’t inflame its user community.

“The pitch to Twitter-using merchants is that the system allows them to keep relevant tweets in front of potentially interested users rather than having those messages drift out of sight in the ever-flowing stream,” it said.

“We are not in a rush to make a certain amount of money this year,” COO Dick Costolo toldAdvertising Age. “We want to get this right.”

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