Ads Had Come to Twitter and it was a pretty big deal - until Twitter promptly said the word "sponsored" was only appearing on the site in error. Now the "sponsored definitions" of certain Twitter "concepts" have appeared on the site again - and they sure look legit this time.Three months ago we reported that
These first ads probably aren't going to bring in enough cash to fuel a micro-app acquisition spree by Twitter, but this is the first clear public indication of one way the company is bringing in revenue. It's funny - the ads have been live for about a week now and no one but a few small, alert blogs has written about them. (Seth Simonds in particular caught a really interesting international angle on the story.) It was big news three months ago and we believe it's still important.
allegedly offensive forthcoming gay-face movie Bruno. The ads only appear on the home page of Twitter when a user is logged in, not when looking at another user's profile page. Also included in the cycle is a link to a joint Twitter and Threadless.com microsite where visitors can buy Threadless t-shirts about Twitter. Apparently that doesn't constitute a sponsored link, but presumably money is changing hands somewhere. The whole world of Twitter is a green-field when it comes to rules of disclosure.So far the only two sponsored links we've seen cycle through our sidebars have been to the ad network Federated Media's Microsoft microsite ExecTweets.com (aggregating Twitter messages from corporate executives) and Universal Studios' CinemaTweets.com, promoting the
Perhaps these sources of revenue will help Twitter remain a viable company long enough for all kinds of questions about this brand new medium to be explored.
Dave Winer argued this Spring that people want to know how Twitter is going to make money because they might not like it. He told a story about learning while in college that Domino's Pizza used profits to fight Planned Parenthood. With all the time, energy and content people are investing in Twitter - many want to know how the company will monetize so they can decide whether it's an organization they want to continue investing in.
And so it has begun. There are ads on Twitter. What do you think?
Disclosure: Federated Media is also the ad network for ReadWriteWeb.
You can find ReadWriteWeb on Twitter, as well as the entire RWW Team: Marshall Kirkpatrick, Bernard Lunn, Alex Iskold, Sarah Perez, Frederic Lardinois, Doug Coleman, Jolie O'Dell, Dana Oshiro , Lidija Davis and Steven Walling.