Twitter is about to launch another brand-friendly revenue stream…a shopping twitter channel.
The site had given people raised eyebrows in the past as people wondered how they planned to bring in any money! Earlier this year, Twitter began to answer that question by launching ‘promoted tweets’ and ‘sponsored trending topics’.
Now they’re is upping the ante, according to Read Write Web, and have created a new account – @earlybird – that will carry brand promotional messages and special offers for those brands paying to feature on the channel.
Personally I hate being spammed on Twitter – mention a brand name and before you blink you have twenty spam followers offering you everything from inner peace to a vibrator. Biz Stone, the company’s founder, has said in the past that the company “resisted introducing a traditional web advertising model because we wanted to optimise for value before profit” and they seem to be staying true to this belief. This approach to online advertising ticks all the boxes as it’s an unobtrusive, opt-in service i.e. you have the choice as to whether you follow the channel or not. This allows Twitter to maintain the integrity of the site and avoid irritating loyal users.
It will be interesting to see how Twitter handles this shopping tweet stream. Will they divide the promotional offers by category e.g. sports offers, music offers, etc or create different accounts for different offer types? Will they target promo tweets based on keywords and users tweet history to ensure relevance? Will they present users with deals based on location? Given that there are still relatively few Twitter users in Ireland (recently estimated to be around 150,000), it’s likely that many of these promo tweets will be irrelevant otherwise.
At the time of writing this the @earlybird profile has 256 followers. Definitely one to watch.