Since Twitter launched in 2006 the company has been trying to figure out ways to make money. Traditional advertising has been thought about though not very seriously. It is generally considered that this form of advertising would only drive away the fan base. Now, Twitter has come up with an interesting method to generate revenue – Promoted Tweets.
Promoted Tweets are supposed to be normal Tweets by businesses and organization that will be highlighted. They are expected to appear at the top of search result, much like the sponsored links that appear atop Google’s search results. However there is a condition attached to promoted tweets. They will be removed if there is insufficient re-Tweeting or if there are no replies. Currently big players like Starbucks and Red Bull among other have already geared up to use this new method of marketing.
The big question here is, “will it work?” Twitter users are notoriously finicky and may reject advertising even on this level. If users enter the service in a complaining mood (because they know they will see ads) then the service will surely face doom. This is something that Twitter and the advertising companies will have to watch closely and respond to.
However, if this fails Twitter will have to work really fast to come up with a revenue generating plan. Even though it is unfair by users to expect the service to be free forever, that is exactly what has contributed to its success. Unfortunate as this is, that is the tightrope that Twitter has to walk in order to maintain its dominance in the online world.