Back in July we reported on how Twitter was a launching a new kind of Promoted Tweet in everybody’s feeds that would start to show ads from brands that you were following.
Well, I guess that wasn’t paying off so well, as Twitter has announced that they will soon begin to show more ads to users on the network, except this time it will be from brands that you don’t follow.
How will this work? Twitter will compare your profile with other users who are following brands you are not, and if it finds a match in your interests that brand’s ads could begin to appear in your timeline.
Explains Peter Kafka at AllThingsD.
That means that users who aren’t following Virgin Airlines on the service might still see an ad for the airline in their “timeline” — if Twitter thinks they have things in common with people who do follow Virgin.
So, if user A is like user B, but user B follows Virgin Airlines while user A does not, then user A might start seeing ads from Virgin Airlines appear on their screen. Simple, if perhaps a little cock-eyed – why not just do a better job of figuring out what user A wants to see?
Twitter is, as usual, being pretty tight-lipped about the specifics on how all of this will work, but have put out a statement of sorts through spokesman Matt Graves. “We’re always talking to marketers about ways they can get more value out of Twitter. While we have nothing to share about the way that the business might develop this fall, I can say the last month of testing for Promoted Tweets in the timeline has gone extremely well.”
Hey, do you remember when Twitter COO Dick Costolo said that Twitter’s advertising was going to be “fascinating” and “non-traditional”, that “people will love it” and that it was all going to be “really cool”?
Since then we’ve had the Dickbar and some very by-the-numbers in-stream Promoted Tweets, which are increasingly turning into standard, Google-esque adverts. If that’s Twitter’s definition of “really cool”, we might be in for a very, very bumpy ride indeed.