Posted March 24, 2009 7:43 am by with 8 comments

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So why the quotation marks around the word ads in the title? It’s like that age old question of if a tree fallstwitter-bird in the forest but there is no one there to hear it does it make a sound? This version however reads like, “If you place and “ad” on a website and nobody paid for it is it an “ad”?

In a continuation of the ExecTweets post of earlier TechCrunch reports that more and more third party apps are appearing as ads on the Twitter site. The only difference is that they did not need to pay to be there. In fact, Twitter is doing the courting.

Tweetie developer Loren Brichter says that he actually isn’t paying Twitter a cent to get featured on the site. Twitter came to him, explaining that it wants to promote projects like Tweetie which promote “variety, relevance, and value” (apparently a number of Twitter employees use the app).

Twitter is starting to show some business savvy and brilliance here. Rather than waiting too long to introduce exactly how they intend to make money to survive they are taking advantage of the new wave of Twitter users that are still relatively new to the service and maybe more willing to grow with it. There is less likely to be a hissy fit from someone who sees the service as useful regardless of a few ads vs. the longtime “purists” who will certainly decry the end of Twitter Nation as they know it.

By helping users get more use from the application through promotion of third party apps that further engrain the use of Twitter into the lives of its users, the folks at Twitter are in effect creating a very powerful ad network of sorts. You think the folks at Tweet Deck would be cool with rev share ad agreements to support their business? They don’t exist if Twitter ceases to exist so why not? Would Tweet Deck users revolt? This one wouldn’t but who knows.

It will come down to the people who adamantly oppose the commercialization of the Internet (which are fewer and fewer and are starting to look like elitists who don’t get that the world is bigger than just them) v. those who like the service regardless of ads or not. Actually it will come down to Twitter and its investors making smart business decisions that are about a service making money. Sure they look like Internet hippies right now because of their sharing attitude but do you think that investors are concerned about the Internet’s ethos or the Internet’s profit?

So where do you land? Ads or no ads? The end of Twitter or the start of a real company?

  • Twitter is like Paris Hilton, both over rated.

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  • There are two things to point out here. First, the majority of established Twitter users are probably not logging into Twitter everyday, but rather logging into some 3rd party tool they’re using to automatically post tweets to their Twitter account or monitor conversations from their followers more easily.

    So unless these ads are carrying through to the 3rd party Twitter Tools, will it make a difference to most? Probably not. The average new Twitter user coming online to share useless minutia, they’re probably not going to care either.

    What’s more important for most companies is whether their website has Twitter Appeal or not. When people are talking about a company or its products or services on Twitter, that company’s website is said to have Twitter Appeal. There is a need for that company to be on Twitter monitoring conversations and even converting negative comment makers into Twitter users who are promoting their company. Incidentally, companies can find out if they have Twitter Appeal by using a fast, free tool at

    But regardless of why individuals or companies utilize Twitter, for most, adding advertising will be totally irrelevant and not effect the decision to use or not use Twitter.

  • Well, Twitter services, features and benefits and focus on the business industry.

  • finally… the money power’s win

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  • twitter user can monetize their profile, so it’s time to twitter to make a real business

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  • I have been using Twitter for months and cant see it makes any real difference to my business. I started testing it to see if it improved my seo clients sites but it hasn’t. I will stick with it for now just in case.

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  • I think when a website as big as Twitter is serving so many ads it’s totally unacceptable. Yes granted they need to make money but they are already making so much, why harrass it’s users with that many ads??

  • I rarely ever visit my site anyway. I use Tweetdeck and rarely have a need to go directly to their website. Advertise away.

    Brilliant marketing on Twitter’s part. Publicizing the apps that will cause you to fall in love with their service. Now they just need to build an outstanding app themselves that fully utilizes their own service. It would stand to reason that they should have better stats than anyone on how their users are using the service. So they should build an app that meets the majority users needs the best. Run a paid (no ads) and free version (with ads). Voila!


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