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Twitter Ads: How Will They Affect Your Twitter Experience?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
So, one of the worst kept secrets out there has resurfaced again, reports suggest that Twitter will be launching an ad platform within the next 30-60 days.  Twitter's head of  product management, Anamitra Banerji told MediaPost that they are currently working on an ad platform, but it is only in the test phrase right now.  She added that the company will ensure that the ads are "explicitly clear" that a sponsor paid for the ad.  The goal is to make the ads appear so that the "user doesn't think of it as an ad". 

So let me get this straight, the ads will be clear, but they will not appear as an ad and be masked as a possibly a hash tag or regular tweet?  What does this mean for users of Twitter?  Again here is another platform being used to serve up ads to users.  Has anyone asked the users if this is what they want?  Or is that why the goal is to make the ads appear so that the user doesn't think of it as an ad?  Still seems a little misleading to me.

Twitter can still be considered a social community.  It is a place where people go to share information, 140 characters, at a time.  Some say it (Twitter) is a fad and will burn itself out as soon as the next online darling comes along (and you know it will).  The thing with social environments is that once someone or something comes in and is perceived as an "outsider" the users tend to either push back or leave to find a more dedicated social environment.  What impact will an ad-laden Twitter have on Twitter users?  Will there be a backlash or will people even care?  Let me pose a couple of questions to folks out there:
  • Why do people turn the channel when a commercial comes on?
  • Why has the PVR or TiVo become so popular?
People are being bombarded with advertising.  On TV, in video games, on billboards, on athletes, on YouTube, on Search Engine Results pages, on websites, in social networks like Facebook.  People are exposed to more advertising than ever before.  At what point do we draw a line?  At what point to we stop with the "Push" promotional strategies? When is it too much?  The consumer is in control and I'm pretty sure that they only want to be exposed to advertising on their terms, not on a 24/7 basis.  Could this be a reason as to why people are becoming less brand loyal?  Can you build or retain trust by "forcing" ads on people?  If people want to share their experiences via a social network they will continue to do so, if they want to share more details in a creative way, they will use resources such as mylikes.com to share their experiences via a sponsored "like".  At the end of the day, it is about the power of influence and how engaged a person will become with an ad (conspicuous or not).

I'm not a big fan of Twitter, it takes me away from the important things in life.  I choose when, where and how I allow advertisers to engage with me.  Advertising on Twitter?  Of course it is inevitable.  It is all about the advertising dollar.  Will they affect my experience on Twitter?  I'm probably not the best one to ask as I am not a devoted Twitterer.  I do think however, that if the ads are any bit intrusive, we will see a change in how (or how many) people engage with Twitter.  Then again perhaps users will just develop "Twit-Ad" blindness.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, February 23, 2010  
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