Twitter Finally Unveils Its Ad Model


After months and months and months of speculation, Twitter is finally unveiling its long-awaited business model. Starting tomorrow, the company will sell ads—called “Promoted Tweets”—that show up at the top of the results when a user searches on Twitter for a specific keyword. The ads, which themselves are Tweets, will only show up if they meet something Twitter is calling a “resonance score”—which factors in how often the message is being retweeted, as well as how many people are clicking on a link if it’s included. Advertisers get charged per thousand views—although Twitter says that eventually advertisers will be charged based on the “resonance score” of their promoted Tweets.

Is it “fascinating,” “non-traditional,” “really cool” and “amazing,” as Twitter promised it would be? Not really, especially since it’s not clear how many Tweeters use Twitter’s search engine. (Twitter won’t say). However, it’s just the start. According to a report in the NYTimes and one in AdAge, users will eventually see “Promoted Tweets” when they log in to their accounts, not just when they search for a keyword.

This is likely the key to Twitter’s plans to make money, since it will let Twitter put ads in front of all of its users, including those who access Twitter from third-party apps. Twitter, according to AdAge, will share the resulting ad revenue with third-party Twitter clients. The company, however, isn’t saying when this expansion will happen and instead only says it will make a decision in the fourth quarter.

The slow roll-out is smart since it will let Tweeters get used to the idea of a Twitter with ads. Of course, it also means that the waiting game for when Twitter really rolls out its business model gets to rev up again.

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