Twitter Launches ‘Promoted Tweets’ to Little Backlash

I know that most of you reading this are probably just as addicted to the social networking site Twitter as I am. Have you noticed any changes recently? You have to look close, but they’re there. Go ahead, check under the trending topics. Notice anything different? Yup. Advertisements. Just don’t tell Twitter COO Dick Costolo that, because he still thinks they are “promoted tweets.”

The goal is to increase a brands interaction with fans, and provide Twitter with lots of revenue in the process. It is rumored that these advertisements sell for tens of thousands of dollars. While Twitter is experimenting with this new platform though, the one thing they’re not getting is a lot of backlash, which is why these promoted tweets will succeed.

Twitter has been plagued with ideas on how to make money from the very get-go. They tried integrating advertisements into user streams, but that didn’t work. No one likes to see ads pop-up while they’re trying to catch up on what their friends were doing at 10:51 pm the night before. The practice of in-stream advertising has even been banned by Twitter now, although some ad networks are getting around that by allowing users to copy and paste commercial messages. Regardless, it seems the site has found a way to keep people happy, and make a ton of money in the process. These new ads are anything but intrusive, they don’t distract from the experience, and they allow users to interact with advertisers on their own terms. The first trending topic to be sponsored was Toy Story 3, which seems to have gone over pretty well with people.

However, the system is not without its faults. Should it be true, and the cost of sponsoring a trending topic really is as high as people are saying it is, then that excludes opportunities for a lot of small and medium sized businesses from participating. It is only catering to the big brands, something that may bring them a lot of money for now, but cause a breech in trust later on.

So while you get used to the idea of seeing sponsored topics popping up in the trends column on Twitter, don’t be surprised to see more and more roll outs of this kind of advertising in the future. Should it be successful, Twitter may even put promoted tweets in your stream. While I don’t like the idea of that, I guess I can’t complain too much. Why? Because the site is free, and there’s already too much complaining going around from people who expect more out of a service that doesn’t cost them anything to use.