Before today I was aware of two different attempts to make money on the Twitter platform through advertising. The first was in stream advertisements from celebrities through ad.ly, which I said in February had too huge flaws; it was too celebrity based and based on the same concepts as interrupt media. The company is still around, but besides their recent facebook launch, you don’t hear much about them.
The next method that came around for Twitter advertising was put out by Twitter themselves. They launched the @EarlyBird account with the purpose of providing discounts from one centralized account (that they could charge for). I said that I didn’t like this one because it focused on making money on top of the platform instead of making money within the platform. I mean simply that the content shouldn’t be IN my stream, it should be around it. Twitter finally came around today and announced they’re canceling the program.
Twitter announced this morning that they’re taking another stab (NYT). This time, I think they’re closer to getting it right. They’re going to allow advertisers to promote both their tweets and their accounts through the website, but (and this is critical) out of stream. This is done by giving the advertisers extra high positioning in searches and the “People You Might Be Interested In” section on Twitter’s website. This, combined with Twitter’s recent revamp of their website, is finally a winner. It has the potential to become big like Google’s ads because it is useful like Google ads. If you’re like me, you occasionally look at Google ads, not because you’re a sucker, but because they’re sometimes quite relevant. In the same way you may soon find businesses to follow on Twitter.