Peter Kafka from All Things Digital has provided some details about the Twitter advertising service that were revealed to him by “people who have been briefed by the company’”.
According to the details available, ads on Twitter will be linked to the search service, so that only users who search for something on Twitter will see related ads. Other users will not see ads in their regular Twitter stream.
Ads will also be distributed by third party software and Twitter will share the revenue generated from these ads with the application developers.
Twitter ads will continue to use the standard Twitter format – 140 characters of text.
Initially, Twitter will work with ad agencies and buyers, but will change to a self-serve model similar to Google AdWords in due time.
Kafka cautions that the ad platform is still in the testing stages and a date has not yet been set for its launch. It is expected to be within the first six months of this year.
It is not yet known how advertisers will buy ads and what sort of pricing models will be made available – whether the pricing will be based on a cost-per-click basis or in some other way.
If search is to be Twitter’s sole source of revenue, their search platform needs to be significantly redefined in order to make it more useful and effective. Twitter will also need to gather more data about their users in order to better target the ads.