updated 01:10 pm EDT, Thu July 28, 2011
Twitter to start rolling ads today
Twitter on Thursday confirmed its long-suspected plans to introduce in-feed ads. Referred to as "Promoted Tweets," the strategy will show highlighted updates at or near the top of the feed from those companies a user follows. They will still be pushed down over time like any other post and can be cleared out.
Some of the initial sponsors are a mix of mainstream and newcompanies, including newcomers like Groupon and LivingSocial as well as Dell, Microsoft (for the Xbox), Starbucks, Virgin America, and others. Charities such as the American Red Cross and charity: water will also be involved.
The approach won't necessarily require new dedicated apps, although without them users might not get rid of the ads as easily as they would on the web.
The promotions are likely to trigger controversy as the first real, persistent ad system that most users will see. Twitter already has promoted trends, but their nature limits exposure and the incentive for companies to pay. The startup has lately been facing louder calls to generate more revenue and with the new method could see a surge in income.