The Sneaky Genius Of The Twitter In-Stream Ads

dick costolo

Photo: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Twitter had been expected to put ads directly in your stream since basically forever, and yesterday it announced it would do it. So far, so good. Twitter’s got to make money somehow. 

But what’s interesting is how the ads will work, and in particular one feature: you will only see in-stream ads from brands you already follow. 

And that’s a good thing for everyone: it’s more relevant (and less annoying) for users, and it’s more targeted to the people advertisers want to reach. 

But here’s why it’s brilliant: if brands want more people to see those ads, they’ll want more followers. And Twitter just happens to sell that, through its Promoted Accounts, which suggests accounts you might want to follow. 

So to buy one type of ad, brands might very well end up buying another type of ad in the process. Genius.

By the way, we have a hunch Promoted Accounts is working really well, because a lot of the advertising spend on Facebook is getting more user to like their fan pages. And that makes sense, because their messages end up seen not just by fans, but by friends of their fans, which is how it’ll work on Twitter when ads get retweeted.

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