Reports this morning have revealed that Twitter is set to roll out its long anticipated advertising model this evening (UK time). This follows a series of moves over the last week which suggests that Twitter is starting to make some major moves to upgrade the service.
The new ad service – called Promoted Tweets – will allows advertisers to place their ads next to certain Twitter searches that they have purchased keywords for. In the future, Twitter plans to insert sponsored messages into users’ streams in what will be seen as a much more controversial move:
“When a Twitter user searches for a word an advertiser bought, the promoted message will show up at the top of the results, even if it was written much earlier. The posts say they are promoted by the company in small type, and when someone rolls over a promoted post with a cursor, it turns yellow.”
It will be interesting to see how well this integrates with the service moving forward. Initial reactions on Twitter suggest that any form of advertising is going to be met with suspicion, but if this is integrated well, there is every likelihood that it could start a long but necessary journey for Twitter in finding profitability.
And for brands, the challenge (or opportunity) is how best to use these ads to help with reputation or brand promotion. Will users get immune to the ads at the top of their feeds?
The new Twitter branded services for Blackberry and iPhone (via Tweetie) announced in the last few days, combined with the eagerly anticipated new Twitter.com layout suggests that Twitter’s main goal is to keep users on its properties near its ads. Will it work? Time will tell…