Twitter is aiming to strengthen its advertising business with a new twist on Promoted Tweets.
Promoted Tweets already exist to a certain extent, but now they're going to be more directly in the face of users. At first, having Tweet ads be more prominent sounds annoying. But it might not actually be that bad.
First, Twitter users are only going to get Promoted Tweets from organizations and businesses they already follow. Sounds fine so far. The difference now is that these Promoted Tweets are aimed to be more "timely."
Rather than staying in the feed according to the time the particular Promoted Tweet was actually published, said Tweet will appear at the top or as near as can be to the top when a user logs in and checks his or her Twitter feeds. Check out the example below featuring JetBlue Airways.
This could actually be quite useful to Twitter users who use Twitter for finding out about lower airfares, sales at particular stores and similar items. However, it does have the potential to become very annoying. (But then again, so does almost anything on the Internet.)
To compensate for that, Twitter is enabling a feature in which users can dismiss the Promoted Tweet from the timeline with a single click. Hopefully that won't be necessary too often, as users are already following these businesses and profiles to begin with. Of course, there is the potential that the same item will pop up routinely based on a user's interests and habits.
The obvious benefit for businesses using Promoted Tweets for advertising is now they have a shot to catch the eye of more Twitter users at any time of day rather than just when they might happen to log on to the microblogging site. But just as with the original Promoted Tweets, advertisers will only make a visible profit when the Twitter user engages, either by clicking on a link, retweeting the item or marking it as a favorite.