Twitter introduced Promoted Tweets yesterday, and at first glance, there’s plenty to be wary of. The microblogging service has increasingly become a platform for marketing and a godsend for brand advertising, so every extra step in that direction sets off alarm bells for devoted users.
An internal advertising document that leaked earlier this year revealing Twitter’s lofty aspirations for marketing revenue also hinted toward some concerning possible changes in the site. All that said, we’re not sure Twitter quite deserves the backlash it’s getting for Promoted Tweets. Here’s why:
They only apply to brands you follow (for now)
At the moment, you’re only going to see Promoted Tweets from companies or brands you already get information from. And it’s not uncommon for, say, JetBlue to link to a sale it’s having. Now there will simply be the orange icon to show it’s a Promoted Tweet. If you’re following a brand to begin with, you’re probably pretty use to seeing this type of content – it’s not like Coca Cola has been linking to NPR articles or offering up-to-date details on how its day is going.
Of course, once Promoted Tweets are fully introduced and we begin seeing them for brands regardless of whether or not we follow them, we’ll understand some of the user outrage. But that’s a discussion for another time.
You can easily ignore them
Currently, there’s no way to get rid of a Tweet in your stream except to wait for it to fall off the page. So when any of the companies you follow go on an advertising rampage, you just have to deal with the marketing flood and be patient. Now, Promoted Tweets with let you X out to dismiss them if you so choose.
They deliver real information
There is at least one benefit to Promoted Tweets showing up in your stream, and that’s the fact that you won’t miss something important. Real-time information is the essence of Twitter, and that means you’re apt to miss a lot if you aren’t constantly tuned in. If you follow Xbox because you want to be among the first who glimpse any information about the next-gen console, or when there are game giveaways, then Promoted Tweets will work in your favor. Missing that window won’t be an issue.
Celebrity-tweeted ads are just insulting. How many times a day do you see a celebrity you follow plug a product via Twitter so hard that it’s laughable? It’s no secret that the famous are paid to pump products by Tweeting about them, and the fact that we’re supposed to take it as a genuine comment and not an advertisement gets old really fast. There’s something to be said for the transparency of Promoted Tweets.