Twitter got a new job

April 16, 2010

Unless you’ve been in a cave or you’ve been grounded from the Internet you have heard something about Twitter’s plan to test a new advertising venture with Google. This endeavor, which in no way sounds like a half-baked idea, includes plans to use Twitter’s signature 140 character limit format as an ad rather than the gorgeous, rectangular-shaped banners that plague the Internet with delayed loading times (on my G3 iBook) and redirect me to NSFW sites when I accidentally click on them.

Twitter has so far proved it is not just another piece in the evolution of social media. It now has about 27 million users, which accounts for roughly 20 percent of the adults using the Internet. Despite generating little to no revenue prior to the Google deal, Twitter still shows promises of future profits, and has now added a Twitter ‘timeline’ search option on Google. Also, the Library of Congress just announced that it has acquired a full archive of Twitter. This was enough news to spark a flood of traffic to the Library of Congress’s blog, and crash it. Yep, I think Twitter is here to stay.

As an established component of the Internet, a well thought out advertising plan was expected. Twitter ads will be similar to Google ads, and will include text only and appear next to and/or above search results. Where they differ is how they are relevant to the searcher. Google ads are for those who plan to purchase something or are researching something specific. Twitter ads will attempt to target those searching a topic in hopes of becoming part of the conversation.

Like Google ads, Twitter ads will be valued on popularity. Ads that are not forwarded or clicked on will drop in the ranks or disappear. This is not all that different from a regular tweet. If a tweet is popular, it will be replied to and retweeted and may remain visible for an indefinite amount of time. An unimportant tweet like “I’m in the bathroom” may never be replied to, retweeted or seen again.

If the new Twitter plan proves to be successful, I think this is only the beginning. What do you think, Peepshow readers?