Twitter has gotten the blame for killing a few movies at the box office this year. But Disney's Pixar is hoping the microblogging service can help their latest release, Toy Story 3, win fans.

Disney's latest film is the first brand to win a slot in Twitter's new Promoted Trends ad slot. And while Twitter is getting some criticism for fiddling with its most popular items, the placement is great branding for the Toy Story franchise.

Promoted Trends are just the latest iteration of Twitter's new focus on ad revenue. A twist on Promoted Tweets, a Promoted Trends purchase can win a company a slot on Twitter's coveted Trending Topics list. Of course, the ad is clearly highlighted in yellow and shows that it was promoted by a company when rolled over.

But that's not enough distinction between advertising and content for some. As Gigaom writes:

"Twitter is now trying to do two mutually exclusive things: be a smart communications network with filters that help users discern what is important, and sell ads that are mixed in with those filters. It’s going to be a tough line to walk."

It also won't be easy for most brands to get a spot on the list. Promoted Trends are reported to cost "tens of thousands" of dollars. That is also likely why Twitter is testing them out in front of all users rather than a beta version in front of select users to gauge effectiveness.

It wouldn't be worth the money to a film like Toy Story 3 to have a few people see its tweets. The film is already getting great reviews, but the media mentions of its Twitter purchase are also working out to its benefit.

Of course, there are going to be critics. As As TheWrap points out, it didn't take long for @DisneyPixar's tweets to earn some mocking.

But being a first mover on initiatives like Promoted Trends is a great idea for advertisers.

Twitter, however, could have a lot of explaining to do with Promoted Trends, especially since it's unclear when and if the promoted trend will moving up Twitter's sidebar.

The company has yet to explain the details behind its "resonance algorithms" that calculate where promoted tweets reside. The true test of a Promoted Tweet will be whether it actually climbs up the list of trending topics. If Twitter's new ad model of relevant sponsored tweets actually resonate with users, it's safe to assume that a paid tweet would become more widely spread around the microblogging community. If that doesn't happen, it may not be worth the expenditure for advertisers in the long run.

Meghan Keane

Published 18 June, 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

You might be interested in

Comments (2)


Paul Davidson

I agree, Meghan. If Twitter intends to sell its promoted trends successfully, it would definitely benefit from explaining to their advertisers when the promoted trend will moving up Twitter's sidebar, especially as those promotions are so expensive.

It'll be interesting to see how this form of advertising goes, as there may be a user backlash from increased advertising on social networks, especially at the beginning when there's the usual resistance to change.This is unlikely to stall the promoted trends progress though, as companies that buy them would probably consider them great value for the size of the audience they reach. Increased marketing on these networks is just an inevitable consequence of their success, but it's definitely a fine balance for Twitter to keep both the advertisers and the users happy.

about 8 years ago



I think its interesting if paid tweets in sidebar rise too much that free is finished....but nothing in advance, need to wait and see how it goes

about 8 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.