Twitter Announces Sponsored Tweets Platform

Today Twitter released it’s Sponsored Tweets advertising program.

In a nutshell, it gives advertisers the ability to move their tweets up in the timeline. As the New York Times article says:

Starbucks, for instance, often publishes Twitter posts about its promotions, like free pastries. But the messages quickly get lost in the thousands of posts from users who happen to mention meeting at Starbucks.

AdAge had posted an example of an @Starbucks promoted tweet.

Example of a Promoted Tweet from @Starbucks (via @AdAge)
Example of a Promoted Tweet from @Starbucks (via @AdAge)

To begin with, the ads are being offered on a keyword focused CPM basis. There is a maximum of one sponsored Tweet will be shown on a search results page. Right now Twitter ads are limited to one per search results page, and will be shown only on the web interface. Watch for application, search engine and general API release to come once they have a grasp on how to score tweets based on resonance.

Will my Tweets Resonate?

Central to the new program is the concept of resonance, using organic popularity to help tweets which are popular with people already become great ads. Conversely, it’ll help them to dial down or remove non-relevant ads.

You can compare Twitter’s ‘Resonance’ concept to a blend of Google’s Quality Score and what makes up a good piece of linkbait. Here’s how @biz explained it in the official release.

There is one big difference between a Promoted Tweet and a regular Tweet. Promoted Tweets must meet a higher bar—they must resonate with users. That means if users don’t interact with a Promoted Tweet to allow us to know that the Promoted Tweet is resonating with them, such as replying to it, favoriting it, or Retweeting it, the Promoted Tweet will disappear.

What this means in practical terms is that if you buy a promoted tweet that no one cares about, it’ll dissappear. To resonanate well, your sponsored tweets (and your normal tweets) will have to be popular. The success of your Twitter ads will depend on metrics like Retweets, @ replies and perhaps most importantly, how often your brand replies to those @replies.

It took Twitter four years to release a business model, so they’re going to take their time getting this right before it’s rolled out to more advertising.

More coverage:
Jeremiah Owyang: What Twitter’s “Promoted Tweets” Means To The Ecosystem
AdAge: Twitter Has a Business Model: ‘Promoted Tweets’
NYT: Twitter Unveils Plans to Draw Money From Ads
Enquiro: Twitter Announces Sponsored Tweets Platform

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