Twitter Pulls Plug On Third Party Ads

twitter promoted tweetsTwitter, in a quite surprising move has now stopped all third party ads so that people can freely tweet what they want as they own their tweets.  It was not too long ago, November actually, that we were introduced to ad.ly an application where publishers or tweeters were matched with advertisers and 1x a day for 7 days the tweeter would tweet the ad.  Not very intrusive however possibly due to the overabundance of spam that Twitter has openly addressed in their stream, the third party ad apps are now banned.

According to the Twitter Blog which titled the article, “Enduring Value”

We manage the integrity and relevance of the content in the network in the form of the timeline and we will continue to spend a great deal of time and money fostering user delight and satisfaction. … third party ad networks are not necessarily looking to preserve the unique user experience Twitter has created. They may optimize for either market share or short-term revenue at the expense of the long-term health of the Twitter platform.

Twitter further addresses the purpose of the platform:

In order to continue to provide clarity, our guiding principles include:

1. We don’t seek to control what users tweet. And users own their own tweets.

2. We believe there are opportunities to sell ads, build vertical applications, provide breakthrough analytics, and more. Companies are selling real-time display ads or other kinds of mobile ads around the timelines on many Twitter clients, and we derive no explicit value from those ads. That’s fine. We imagine there will be all sorts of other third-party monetization engines that crop up in the vicinity of the timeline.

3. We don’t believe we always need to participate in the myriad ways in which other companies monetize the network.

This is not to say that Twitter will be ad free as they have announced Promoted Tweets, an advertising platform that has been created by and will be run exclusively by Twitter.

These tweets will exist primarily in search and then in the timeline, but in a manner that preserves the integrity and relevance of the timeline. As we have announced, we will use innovative metrics like Resonance so that Promoted Tweets are only shown when they make sense for users and enhance the user experience.

Has Twitter finally realized how to make money? Are we really to believe that their primary concern “is the long-term health and value of the network … core experience of real-time introductions and information is protected for the user” and that they will carefully meter the impact of Promoted Tweets as it relates to user experience? Really? Already we are inundated with porn spam as well as other money making schemes but they are going to monitor Promoted Tweets?  I suppose it is on a smaller scale and they can monitor them better but it, like everything else, is only a matter of time before the spammers infiltrate their way in and we have to be subjected until the problem is rectified.

Advertising is healthy for the economy. Companies spend money to advertise and get their message out to their target market to create an emotional connection with the product or service so that the consumer develops need and purchases.  But are there places where we should not have to be advertised and marketed to? Are we as consumers allowed to demand that or is it inevitable that really there are 3 absolutes in life: taxes, death and exposure to advertising? This may be a stretch but as a marketer, I welcome clients who want to advertise (momma has to feed a growing boy) but as a consumer experiencing 4 minutes of commercials is a sure bet that I will be channel surfing to escape.

Is this move more about preserving the Twitter experience for the user or really just a means to get some revenue? Twitter should  make money and it is their platform and can do with it what they wish but are they cutting off third party apps so they can maximize profits the same way that ad.ly did?  Is their announcement of preserving the user experience just a whole lot of malarkey when they easily could have said, ‘we are pulling the plug on third party ad apps as we have developed Promoted Tweets and we want all the ad revenue?”  Harsh and blunt but unless I am missing the cruise liner here, that is what I see.

Floor is now yours, what do you think: Is this good news that third party ad apps are now banned?  Are the promoted tweets the same but now we are showing Twitter the money?

photo credit: oddpodzphotos2

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  • think you got it all right. Ad.ly is direct competition to promoted tweets and shouldn't co-exist.

  • I have to tend to agree as the more we are able to think about this, the more it makes sense that twitter is taking control and creating a revenue source. If they co-existed, twitter would be an advertising nightmare with all the paid tweets. With any advertising like this, so long as it is not interfering with how we use the platform, it should be ok. I say should.