Twitter announced Tuesday the first phase of paid advertising with, “Promoted Tweets” (read more on their blog here).
Twitter’s ad model for Promoted Tweets is based on a per-thousand buy of viewers who will see a Tweet at the top of their search results that has been chosen for “promotion” by a paying company. This result will reside at the top regardless of when it was posted, meaning companies can circumvent the deafening cry of other Tweets about the same subjects that could bury their comment over time or over frequency.
This also makes for an interesting paid-placement opportunity for dealing with public relations nightmares, or quickly reacting to industry or popular trends, shoe-horning in a brand’s thoughts into every search.
The actual form of the ad? Essentially it’s just a “Golden Tweet” or “Timeless Tweet” that has all the same properties of a normal Tweet, plus “promoted” tag, that allows for interaction as normal and obeys all rules except for the chronology. Presumably this timelessness is how it will be inserted even in search queries from third-party applications.
One underreported function is that company’s appear to be able to promote Tweets they didn’t generate. In other words, a Tweet selected for promotion may be an incredibly positive review, for example. Consider industries such as healthcare, where slim official Tweeting by hospitals means meaningful Tweets are buried under a flood of job posts, etc.
Promoted Tweets is an interesting and unique development from Twitter, who before now has eschewed advertising and frequently stated they were interested in models that did not deviate from Twitter’s core functions (i.e. an integrated advertising design rather than interruptive such as banner ads). The success of Promoted Tweets and the other models coming in subsequent “phases” remains to be seen, but in my opinion appears promising.