The business end of Twitter has revamped its website tonight and it now includes a form that companies can use to express interest in purchasing Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets or Promoted Trends.
Would-be advertisers are asked to select from 5 categories of monthly ad budget, ranging from below $10k through over $100k, and choose whether they would like their campaigns to begin in 1 to 4 weeks, 1 to 3 months or 3 months from now. This may be the real time web, but real-time advertisers, apparently, are still best advised to pick up the phone with credit card in hand. The ad buying page is so fresh and new that the “thank you” page you’re sent to after completing the form just shows a page not found error.
I’ve always been a fan of the way Twitter offers advertising, in its early experiments at least. Trending topics and tweets both sit beside an open discourse about the advertiser themselves, and promoted accounts are only promoted when relevant.
Not everyone is so excited about seeing a turn-key ad buying solution, though. Even leading social media marketing consultant Jason Falls voiced serious concerns when we spoken with him tonight.
“Selling trending topics is like gaming Digg,” Falls said.
“Twitter is inviting marketing money bags to completely ruin the organic nature of the tool. When I look at something like that, I tell clients, ‘They’re just whores for your money.’ It’s obvious they’re making Facebook-like errors to try and compensate for the fact they never had a business model in mind when they built this thing.”
Twitter advertising at scale may be less charming than the company’s small experiments were, but time will tell. It does appear that these three forms of Twitter advertising have passed the test and are here to stay. That hasn’t been true of all the company’s experiments. @Earlybird, for example was an official Twitter account that published discounts and deals to its followers, for advertisers. ReadWriteWeb first broke the news of the EarlyBird plan in July, but by September the effort was shut down.
Remember when Trending Topics was launched? Just 6 months ago! Our favorable coverage at the time: Now Live, Twitter’s New Ads: Are You Brave Enough for This?
Also in July, ReadWriteWeb reported first that Twitter was working on an analytics dashboard, which we believed would be launched “soon.” Twitter headquarters contacted us to say that we were wrong, but in tonight’s business site revamp we see a new analytics dashboard alright – for advertisers only.
The next challenge the company will likely face? Scaling its sales force to call the crush of people who fill out this form.
That Twitter had redesigned its business page was first noticed this evening by The Next Web. A request for comment from Twitter has yet to be responded to.
Update: Wednesday morning, the Twitter blog issued a brief update about the revamped business site and made small mention of the advertising form.