Twitter Ad Platform to roll out at SXSW? Is it just AdWords or something better?

These are the questions on everyones mind. However, I think the big issue is how will Twitter pull this off without pissing off their diehard users. Will this be seen as another corporate sellout or a job well done?

Not all the details are in but here are a few things we do know.

  • You won’t see the ads in your twitter stream, they will only show up in search.
  • Ads will be tied to Twitter searches, in the same way that Google did their original ads. Searching for a, “Plasma”, may generate an ad for a Sony Bravia.
  • The ads will keep the same Twitter-140 or fewer characters and will be distributed via the third-party software and services that use Twitter’sAPI.
  • The services will have the option of displaying the ads, and Twitter will share revenue with those that do.
  • Twitter will work with ad agencies and buyers to seed the program, but plans on moving to a self-serve model like Google’s, down the road.

What we still can’t wait to know.

  • Twitter search leaves a lot to be desired. Can Will Twitter refine search or maybe get a partner like Yahoo or Google to help them more useful to users?
  • Google’s ads work because Google knows users’ intent and identity. Twitter knows so much less about its users.
  • Will they ever be able to gather enough data to make its targeting more meaningful?
  • And the number one question on everyones mind. How will advertisers buy and price the ads? Will they use a Google-like model and look at cost-per-click something else.


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