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Today Twitter is going live with its long anticipated ad platform. As we've already written, the ads will launch as a key-word based search product. But as Dick Costolo, the company's COO explained today at Ad Age Digital today in New York, Promoted Tweets will eventually appear in every user's regular Twitter stream. 

How will the company avoid spamming its users? Twitter is hoping that a little measure called resonance will help.

Starting today, companies and indivudals can purchase promoted tweets from the main menu on Twitter, pick search terms, and associate them with individual tweets they’ve already published. Those ads will show up when users perform a search on terms where ads have been purchased.

Costolo plans to "use the learnings from search and leverage them as we start to think about how we expand the program."

For months Costolo has been foreshadowing that Twitter's ad platform will be "awesome." He thinks he's delivered on that promise:

"One of the really cool things I love about this platform, is it combines earned media and paid media into one space."

Part of that plan means that Twitter will not be charging marketers when their promoted tweets are retweeted.

"We think the ability to target this real time interest graph can be more compelling than other kinds of targetting."

That's also how Twitter plans to avoid having its ad platform turn into a method of spamming its users. The company has created a metric called a resonance score that tracks how effective these promoted tweets will be and how they engage with those tweets. If people aren't interacting with paid tweets, they will start to disappear from the platform.

"Brands and companies will not pay for promoted tweets that don't resonate with users. And users won't see those tweets."

Currently, Twitter's ad platform's metrics are open ended, but the company will be tweaking it as it sees how people use and react to sponsored tweets.

"It's probably gone live while I was onstage here, we will start to see what resonance means over the coming weeks and months."

Initially priced on a CPM basis, Twitter will likely transition to more of a ROI model as that happens. Costolo insists that he wants to use resonance to avoid forcing  marketers to obsess about clicks.

Once promoted tweets are live in search and Twitter sees how they perform, the company will begin syndicating purchased tweets into the Twitter stream across platforms. The company will be splitting promoted tweet revenue with third parties that deliver tweets to consumers, but it will announce the exact revenue share percentage tomorrow at Chirp, Twitter's developer conference in California.

It remains to be seen how users and businesses will use and react to these new ads. But Costolo says:

"My hope is that these will enhance the user experience in a significant way."

Meghan Keane

Published 13 April, 2010 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

721 more posts from this author

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Mike Stenger

Mike Stenger, MikeStenger.com

Time will tell with Twitter's Sponsored Tweets. I'm still looking more into it but it's good to see that Twitter has finally got some sort of ad model in place. It's about freakin' time...

over 6 years ago

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KPO Philippines

I'm still on the fence with this idea since I don't really like ads interfering with social networking sites. Users won't see those tweets? Hmm. Interested to find out.

over 6 years ago

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Dan Cryer

This strikes me as being very much an exercise in achieving the glaringly obvious. There's nothing special about this as an ad platform, the only surprise is that it has taken Twitter so long to come up with it. 

All they really had to do was look to Digg, for example, to see a very similar model already in use. 

over 6 years ago

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Online marketing tanácsadás

Online marketing has been growing at a tremendous speed within the field of marketing. The economic crises has shown that when traditional methods fall, new internet marketing tools arise.

over 6 years ago

Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes, User Experience Consultant at Foviance

Resonance sounds like a form of natural selection which, in theory, would work if users boycotted spam in their tweets (sounds like something you'd shout at a restaurant: "Ugh! There's spam in my tweets!").

If no one clicks a promoted tweet then it will disappear but as we've seen with other social networks, marketers are very clever at pretending to be their own users and writing fake reviews for their products. How is this going to be any different?

And now for the shameless self-promotion: read "This Tweet's For You" on the Foviance blog.

over 6 years ago

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Geoff Jackson

I recently blogged about Twitter's newly announced ad platform 'Promoted Tweets' and touched on the surface of geo-targeted ads, this could prove an excellent ad opportunity for local businesses targeting their following whilst they are on the move (mobile devices and apps such as Tweetie). Be great to hear anyone's thoughts on this in the comments on my article - Thanks http://www.clubnetsearchmarketing.co.uk/twitter-deploy-advertising-service-bid-monetise-platform/506

over 6 years ago

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Geoff Jackson, Director of Search at Clubnet Search Marketing

I recently blogged about Twitter's newly announced ad platform 'Promoted Tweets' and touched on the surface of geo-targeted ads, this could prove an excellent ad opportunity for local businesses targeting their following whilst they are on the move (mobile devices and apps such as Tweetie).

Be great to hear anyone's thoughts on this in the comments on my article - Thanks

Twitter to Deploy Advertising Service in Bid to Monetise Platform

over 6 years ago

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NookSurfer

I'm kind of having mixed thoughts about this. Businesses today are already using Twitter as a form of advertising. I want to say that 75% of the tweets I see everyday are in some shape or form, advertising. Now that Twitter wants to cash in on their business, will this increase and encourage more businesses to participate or will this reduce the amount of spam we see?

over 6 years ago

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