Posted July 9, 2009 9:06 am by with 7 comments

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Remember when Twitter first launched its sidebar ads? Only, Twitter told us all that they weren’t actually ads? Then, guess what, they magically started turning into real ads.

OK, so explain this mysterious “public service tweet” that’s started showing up on Twitter:


Actually, Biz Stone has explained it and he says it’s not an ad, just a way to help users upgrade to a browser that supposedly will ensure a “better Web experience on Twitter.”

<Crosses arms, tilts head>

Really? OK, I’ll buy that these are nothing more than a PSA, but I’ll also give it 6 months before ads start showing up in the exact same place–maybe even linked to the #hashtags you’ve clicked on. Oh wait, you didn’t realize that Twitter made #hashtags clickable, so it could track your interests? 😉

These types of ads work well on many free apps that Twitter users download to their desktops and, just like Google tests new ads placements before deciding if they should be fully released, I believe Twitter is testing the engagement levels of these ads messages.

  • That’s one thing I don’t understand about Twitter. Biz and co. seem to be very coy about their plans. Perhaps it’s because they’ve admitted they’re not quite sure of them…. perhaps it’s because they feel guilty for trying to make a buck? Either way, it’s a bit painful to watch.

    If it were me, I’d unapologetically post banners, AdSense and Viagra offers if it meant I could monetize the Twitter beast.

    jlbraaten’s last blog post..New Website ROI Tips: Online Goal Setting

  • Wow, I never thought of that. I actually thought it was because I’m stuck with EI6 at work that it was popping up. Food for thought!

  • Dean

    I’ve said for awhile that Twitter’s opportunity lies in real-time search and mimicking Google’s business model with paid ads on top and along the side of the interface. You may not like it but did paid ads stop you from using Google?

    Makes complete sense to me and it interesting to see Twitter experiment with it.

  • Pingback: New more prominent Twitter Ads Spotted – The Next Web()

  • What’s the big deal? It would be more surprising if something in the end didn’t turned into ads these days. I’m sure you could apply some formula, where every site that reaches some critical mass of visitors, would inevitable start generating money from them in one way or another. Otherwise they would be stupid.

  • Since when did participating in capitalism and the economy become such a bad thing? I have zero faith in any venture that does not have a revenue model as their first order of business. Why should I expect your service to be worth a darn if you have no personal incentive to make it successful? Someone eat their lunch already, because I tire of this soap opera of “will they sell ads, or won’t they?” It’s really quite boring.

    Terry Howard’s last blog post..Formula For Success

  • Sig

    I can’t believe there’s so many people who believe Twitter is some kind of “real time search” that is going to compete with Google??? As a programmer who uses Google to find function definitions, coding ideas and professional technical documentation on a daily basis, I shudder to think if I were stuck using Twitter to search people’s “What are you doing now” for information.

    Twitter is more about popularity. It’s high school all over Biz Stone and company need to suck it up, slap some lipstick on that pig and bring home the bacon.

    Sig’s last blog post..1969 Chevrolet Corvette One-Off aka The Bomber