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Will The Twittersphere Support The ‘Sponsored Tweets’ Model?

This week, Twitter unveiled its new revenue model of ‘Promoted Tweets‘. I wondered, what do Twitters 105 million registered users, who make up 600 million searches per day, think of this sponsored advertising that will start to appear in their previously advertisement free space?

To answer this question, I went to our social media ‘listening tool’, Radian6, to take a deeper look into Twitter users reaction to this news since it broke. For this, I’ve hidden the neutral sentiment, which accounts for ~90 of all posts and are generally just links to articles describing the changes, and focus this post solely on the positive and negative sentiment.

Sentiment of Twitter Users

It seems most twitter users (78%) that share their opinions on the subject have a positive reaction to it, while only 22% expressed a negative response. Let’s take a look at what some of the good and bad comments have to say:


Positive Comments

“Thinking of ways that OCHA (and the humanitarian community) could use Promoted Tweets to aid in the coordination of emergency response”

“Would prefer a promoted tweet in which i search for starbucks and kara thrace brings me a coffee. get to it, twitter”

“I think that Promoted Tweets have great potential to *improve* #marketing relevance: http://bit.ly/cLIbR6″

“Bravo will use Promoted Tweets to engage users on shows and will show some user tweets live on TV #aadigital”

“I really like @johnbattelle’s take on Promoted Tweets and resonance http://bit.ly/aCbuNI”

“Favs are dead. The new barometer of success will be Promoted Tweets. It’s like writing movie reviews and aiming for the box every time.”

“So now which firm will be first to claim paid tweet placement services for campaigns?: http://bit.ly/cdbPtt #twitterGetsRevenueModel”


Negative Comments

“Twitter unveils promoted tweets. Great, I start twittering and twitter starts advertising :(

“So far my impression of Twitter’s forthcoming ‘promoted tweets’ – one big pop up ad.”

“I hope twitters new ‘promoted tweets’ monetization scheme doesn’t cut into my earnings for plugging MORT’S DELI IN TARZANA.”

“I’m all for monetization but fail to see how paid tweets can be the answer. willing to look at it in action, but have serious doubts”

“I’d pay twitter for filters. Tonight I’d block Glee, Promoted Tweets, the # symbol, the letters RT, Lost and LOL.”


The way Twitter has decided to serve their ads seems very unintrusive, and if they’re actually targeted very well (unlike my experience with Facebook ads so far, which seem to think I’m in extreme need of registering for an online dating site and I should switch my career choice to being on the SWAT team), could actually be very helpful. A Starbucks sponsored tweet telling me which days I can get a venti chai for cheap? I’d love that!

In many ways, Twitter has been an advertising medium this whole time! A platform so well targeted, that it requires the user to sign up, and then seek out each advertiser they wish to follow. Hah, and you thought it was for micro-blogging…

@Moosejaw   consistently writes funny posts, but also push products and promotions.
@MichiganTheater advertises which new movies they’ll be showing this week.
@JoeNBC or @KeithOlbermann give me news updates, but they also promote their TV & radio shows every day
@NewScientist and @PitchforkMedia link me to their website with new and interesting articles, where they make money from ads
@RealTracyMorgan and @JennaMaroneyTGS promote the tv show 30Rock in their tweets

While many of the positive posts were a quick opinion of the idea of paid tweets, followed by a link to an article, it will be interesting to see how sentiment changes over time, and if people continue to complain over the course of the next few months as people become acclimated with Twitters new look. Buzz about this news seems to be dying down already, with the expected initial spike when it was first released, followed by a huge drop off only 24 hours later.

Topic Trend: Promoted Tweets

So, what are your initial reactions to the promoted tweets? Do you think it will succeed??

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