Twitter-Dependent Startup Pretends It's Not Totally Screwed

Nile River EgyptDa Nile ain’t just a river in Eygpt

Photo: Michael Gwyther-Jones

Twitter changed its terms of service to ban in-stream advertising from third-parties.Startup Ad.Ly, calls itself an “in-stream advertising platform.”

So it’s screwed, right?


At least, not according to Ad.Ly’s CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh. In a blog post, he writes, “thank you to all our publishers, advertisers, and friends who have reached out to us expressing their love and support the last 24 hours. “

“Since inception, has, and still is operating under Twitter’s approved guidelines and terms of service for advertising on its platform, so it’s business as usual for us.”

This confuses us. Here is an ad in the wild: ad

Here is how Ad.Ly describes its service: enables you to monetise the valuable content you are producing in streams like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. pays you to send an ad to your followers on behalf of brands you love (like an ad unit placed inside your stream).

Here is Twitter CFO Dick Costolo’s explanation for banning in-stream ads:

“Third party ad networks are not necessarily looking to preserve the unique user experience Twitter has created.”

“They may optimise for either market share or short-term revenue at the expense of the long-term health of the Twitter platform.”

Does Twitter not plan on enforcing its new terms of service? Does Twitter CFO Dick Costolo’s words – “we will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API” – not mean what they seem to mean?

Or is it much simpler, that denial isn’t just a river in Eygpt?

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