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Twitter’s Promoted Tweets Get Mobile

Let’s play “find the promoted Tweet in this picture.”

Congratulations! You win!

Very soon these sneaky little ads will be slipping into your iPhone and Android Twitter streams. If you happen to follow the brand who bought the ad, the Tweet may rise up to the top of your stream, because Twitter wants to “ensure that people see important Tweets from the brands they care about.”

As a matter of fact, the entire Twitter blog post announcement makes it sound like pushing promoted Tweets to mobile apps is in your best interest. If that “you” means you the marketer, well yes. If that “you” is you the Twitter user, not so much.

Here’s the short skinny. Promoted Tweets are advertising and advertising allows Twitter to offer their services to everyone free of charge. That’s good for them and you, because if they started charging, they’ll likely lose most of the users who would migrate over to a competitor who was waiting in the wings for this moment.

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The reality is, Twitter’s Promoted Tweets are less obtrusive than most ads you see on the web. Putting them in the stream is 100 times better than that crazy ad bar they had at the top of the mobile app for awhile. Yuk. And many Promoted Tweets are actually interesting or fun to read.

Most importantly, like everything else in social media, they fly by in a matter of minutes. This is not so good for “you” the marketer. Which is why Twitter is playing with boosting the Tweet up for followers. They’re also working on showing only relevant Tweets. I can only go by the accounts I monitor, but most of the Promoted Tweets I’ve seen are indeed relevant to the account they appear on.

For marketers, this is all good news and for Twitter users, it’s barely news at all, just the natural progression in the monetization of social media.