Twitter is a social media and, like all social media, people struggle to come up with ideas to make money from it. Twitter is also a broadcast media, with a permission basis – someone broadcasts something and followers have signed up to see that broadcast. Hashtags helps people find tweets on a common topic.
So, add up “broadcast media” and “want to make money from it” and you get “advertising”. Promoted tweets, in fact.
Before you go, “Psshaw!” and dismiss the entire concept, remember that Google gets 97% of its revenue from advertising – you know, those AdWord thingies – and it is the biggest advertising agency in the world (sorry, DDB Worldwide). It earned about US$22.9 billion in 2009 from advertising. Twitter isn’t exactly the same, of course, but whereas Google makes it easier for people to find things, Twitter is about topics or conversations – something that advertisers won’t have an issue dropping in on. After all, if the conversation is about coffee, surely Starbucks would have something to contribute?
And now, completely devoid of irony, my first ever tweet announcing a blog update.