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Twitter goes corporate, adds search ads

Reports say that Twitter will unveil something called "Sponsored Tweets," a search ad program that will put brands' messages into users' Twitter streams.
Written by Caroline McCarthy, Contributor on
Adding to the whirlwind of announcements leading up to the company's first annual developer conference, several news outlets report that Twitter will unveil something called "Sponsored Tweets," a search ad program that will put brands' messages into users' Twitter streams. It's formally slated to debut on Tuesday.

Early advertisers in the program include Starbucks, Virgin America, and Bravo, all of which have already been using Twitter's reach to promote their brands. With "Sponsored Tweets" that organically-built promotion is becoming official much as Twitter eventually built its own version of fan-created "replies" and "retweets": First, these ads are going to show up if users search for a keyword that the advertiser has purchased. Eventually, they'll show up in users' Twitter streams both on the company homepage and third-party client applications; no more than one ad will be displayed at a time.

Twitter's business model has been talked about nearly as much as the company itself since its hyped 2007 debut: $160 of venture capital has been pumped into the company, and yet its executives repeatedly refused to rush to make a business plan public. It's a decision that some said was wise and others said was short-sighted.

For more on this story, read Twitter goes corporate, adds search ads on CNET News.

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