Posted July 6, 2009 1:34 pm by with 10 comments

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twitter-logoBack in March, Twitter gave us all a head-fake when they started posting “sponsored definitions,” definitions in a the sidebar of Twitter homepages that looked like ads. Twitter was quick to correct the assumption that they were, in fact, ads—they were only definitions, just like you get free from dictionaries.

Then, the boxes began carrying info on Twitter apps. Rather than paying for their placement, the featured apps were actually approached by Twitter. The apps being advertised didn’t pay to get there, so despite the fact that they were still called “sponsored definitions,” they weren’t ads. Nope, no way, nuh uh.

Well, now they are, apparently. Read Write Web reports that two of the “sponsored definitions,” for Cinema Tweets and the infamous ExecTweets, are really ads this time.


As RWW notes, these ads appear only on your Twitter homepage when you’re signed in, not on other Twitter users’ pages. However, since this ad format has been used since March, it’s possible that Tweeple will either a.) completely ignore the ads, just like the did the previous definitions, or b.) not realize these are ads, despite the “sponsored” marking (though we’ve seen that before 😉 ).

What do you think? Are these really ads, or are they just more of the same? Will Twitter users click on ads unwittingly, ignore them completely, or somewhere in between?

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  • Social Media Commando

    For a split second I thought, “How nice, Twitter is introducing the Twittersphere to TwitterSpeak.”

    Then I noticed ‘Exec-Tweets’ in the headline and knew it must be an ad.

    I fall into the category of ‘somewhere in between’ – The ads sometimes catch my attention, and I read their content from time to time, but as of yet have not been motivated to click one.

    What about all those contest giveaways that generate so much traffic, views, and forwards? Done right, and depending on what Twitter charges for ads, a contest is most likely Light Years ahead in terms of results.

    Commando OUT.

    Social Media Commando’s last blog post..Scaring Yourself Silly = WIN

  • Barbara

    I don’t have any problem with Twitter having a discrete ad or two on their page. After all, their sponsored definitions are way more polite than a lot of the tweets some people post.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Seven Secrets of Successful Blogging

  • Tinh

    Twitter can not live without food, sponsored ads is what it will be, just when

    Tinh’s last blog post..Thủ Thuật Nhỏ Giúp Chèn Code Vào Sidebar Dễ Dàng

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  • Internet Marketer

    I don’t think ads on Twitter will be negative unless they are obtrusive. There is so much spam to filter through on Twitter that its users have gotten pretty good at quickly identifying and ignoring irrelevant tweets, users, and messages.

    Internet Marketer’s last blog post..How to Use Qualitative Web Analytics

  • Igor Kheifets

    I believe that thore are infact sponsored ads,
    but since I haven’t noticed them so far I’d they are
    quite in effective and do not bother me…


    Igor Kheifets’s last blog post..Best Affiliate Programs. What Are The Best Affiliate Programs To Promote

  • Terry Howard

    How about Twitter, and the rest of the Social Media world, just stop being dopes and run ads like a normal contributing member of the web. Either that or shut their maws about not having enough funding. I’d except either course of action at this point.

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