Twitter to Publish Shopping Deals Through @EarlyBird Account

Twitter has rolled out several different advertising systems in recent weeks and we’re hearing that the next one will take a page from the Dell Computers playbook. In December, Dell famously reported $6.5 million in sales through links published over two years on Twitter.

Imagine how much more Twitter might be able to pull in with a bigger audience, more diverse products and promotions and big brand partners. We believe that’s what Twitter will soon announce is the plan for the two-week old account @earlybird, which just opened up to accepting followers today. Twitter hasn’t responded yet to our request for comment. Update: See Twitter’s update below.

Carolyn Penner, friendly communication contact at Twitter Inc., said to us by email after publication: “There are interesting things in store for @earlybird. Keep waking up early and you might be the first to find out what they are.”

This will probably be a fun account to follow, if Twitter does it right. The company’s other recent advertising initiatives have been playful, unobtrusive and wildly successful according to early reports. The latest, sponsored trending topics, is really bold – in a good way.

Opt-in subscription to advertising as part of a user’s social stream is likely to be a very important model in making social media financially viable. Facebook today unveiled a radical new subscription recommendation feature that is similar if more sophisticated looking and non-commercial so far.

Would you subscribe to/follow/”like” EarlyBirdElectronics, EarlyBirdBooks, or EarlyBirdMusic? I suspect many Twitter and Facebook users would. Syndicated content as advertising has a whole lot of potential, something the tech blog world has been thinking about since at least 2006 when aggregator Techmeme introduced RSS feeds as ads on its site. Enter the era of microblogging and the same principles appear ready for exploration.

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