Buy Your Way to the Top of Twitter Search Results and Other Issues |

Buy Your Way to the Top of Twitter Search Results and Other Issues

By Tad Chef / April 17, 2010

Retweeted Starbucks ad aka promoted tweet. No sign of it being an ad.

Welcome back to the weekly Twitter column. Last week we have witnessed a lot of news about and from Twitter. The most important one seems to be the appearance of Twitter ads aka promoted tweets. From now on you can

buy your way to the top of Twitter search results.

I’ve written about the uselessness of Twitter search just a few days ago. This is just the last nail in the coffin of Twitter search if you ask me. This may be just my opinion though. Thus I’ve collected some insightful articles dealing with the emergence of Twitter ads.

Several other more or less troubling news around Twitter have been prominent last week as well. Some of them sound quite positive but also have significant negative consequences.

The promoted tweets advertising business model
The Twitter COO claims the promoted tweets are not ads. You can pay to get a promoted tweet like that on top of search results. Starbucks already did. So you basically buy an ad. In this case it might be a tweet, advertorial or “tweetorial” but the most important aspect of promoted tweets is the fact that they are paid content or sponsored links. The reactions on Twitter have been mixed with a slight tendency to the negative, Business analysts have been even more outspoken.
You can retweet promoted tweets and once you do the ad isn’t disclosed as an ad anymore.

The real size of Twitter: Do the analytics tools lie?
Techcrunch asks how big Twitter or rather really is traffic wise and has no real answer beyond raising doubts about the analytics tools of both parties, Twitter itself and third party providers.

Will Mexico ban Twitter to stop organized crime?
Mexico gets desperate amidst it’s bloody drug war and may even ban Twitter and Facebook to curb organized crime who appear to use social networking to intimidate the public. While you may not care for Mexico this can become a role model for Internet censorship 2.0. Every government has a good excuse to shut down Twitter, for instance terrorism. I’m sure Al-Qaeda uses Twitter as well.

Meta tags for Twitter?
Twitter will allow developers to add invisible meta data to tweets. This sounds a little like meta tags for web pages. I assume that Twitter will not just replicate the standard HTML functionality but allow enhancements for analytics, geo location and such. Still the potential for abuse here is obvious. What’s invisible can always be used against the users. Also software developers are wary of Twitter by now as it destroys business models over night overtaking some third party features.

Your tweets will survive you.
This is basically good news: The Library of Congress will preserve tweets for future generations. On the other hand it means that every word you say today might haunt your grand grand grand children in 200 years. So from now on you have to be even more careful when using Twitter.

Google enters the Twitter tools arena.
In case Twitter hasn’t destroyed your Twitter tool business model Google might as well in the future. Google has come up with two new Twitter tools last week. The tools are good for end users, especially the Follow Finder. It shows you who your followers follow as well and also who you should follow. The other tool allows you to “replay” tweets from a certain point in time.

Twitter accelerates. A few months from now it might already be a completely different service. It has come a long way from “What are you doing?” to the current state of link sharing and breaking news making. We will see.

The next few months will be a decisive moment for Twitter.

It will either establish itself for ages or begin a slow death many similar services are dying right now. The next big things are already around the corner, be it Foursquare, Tumblr or socializing in real life again aka social media suicide.


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