The big question for investors and tech startup followers is: will Twitter make money out of their new “promoted Tweets” business model? The big question for Twitter users is – will this upset the subtle balance of Twitter? Worse still, will this ruin the user experience completely?
So what are “promoted tweets”? Here’s how Advertising Age described the scheme: “Initially, advertisers will bid on keywords on a cost-per-thousand basis, but Twitter is developing a performance model that could be the basis for pricing based on a metric called “resonance” — impact judged on how much a tweet is passed around, marked as a favorite or how often a user clicks through a posted link. Ads that perform well will stay in the system; ads that don’t rise above the resonance score of a typical tweet from a marketer will fall out.”
Got that? So eventually popular adverts will keep getting shared around, while unpopular adverts will sink and be cleared from the system. In those terms the end solution sounds rather clever. But in the meantime, we’re stuck with a classic CPM model where Twitter gets paid based on how many adverts it can show us. The question is: how many of these Ad-Tweets will there be? One in one hundred? One in fifty? That might be OK, but what about one in twenty? Or one in ten?
I’m all for Twitter making money, but why risk implementing a clumsy system before releasing a clever one? Seems a bit of a rush job to me. Anyway, let’s see.