Users of Twitter have revealed to TechCrunch that they have come across ads displayed within the twitter feeds during this past week, just after some breaks were reported in the continuity of their services.
It is highly likely that the creators of Twitter plan to start monetise the fast-growing and already popular social media platform by displaying ads on a commercial scale and what users have seen may be the initial preparations for doing so.
Since its inception in March 2006, Twitter has followed the policy of ‘build an audience first’. Due to this Twitter has developed a very loyal fan following, as a social networking site, but is yet to make any money. So far Twitter has provided its services free of cost, and if they are to continue doing so, they may have to monetise it in some way, shape or form.
Running ads within the twitter streams is the most obvious way for them to monetise the service. Another idea for monetisation would be to charge users who wish to include links within their Tweets.
Twitterific, a desktop application built to interface with Twitter from Macs, already includes ads in the Twitter timeline in its free version. Biz Stone of Twitter however, denied that Twitter has been testing ads, when asked by Silicon Alley Insider. He said, “We’re not putting ads on Twitter.com. As far as I can tell, a customised background image had some folks confused and speculating.”
Conceptualisation of a Twitter stream with ads