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Twitter To Block Third-Party Paid Tweets 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the cutting-spam-and-competition dept.
tekgoblin writes "Today Twitter announced on its blog an upcoming change to its Terms of Service. The change will not allow anyone to promote paid tweets through the Twitter API. Twitter had announced previously that it will be releasing a 'Promoted Tweets' platform for advertisers that will be non-intrusive and will always be relevant to the Twitter timeline. This action taken by Twitter could be a hard hit for small publishers that relied on the paid tweets that will be blocked shortly. Depending on how expensive the Twitter Promoted Tweets will be, this will show us whether or not Promoted Tweets will be good for the little guy."
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Twitter To Block Third-Party Paid Tweets

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  • by newdsfornerds (899401) on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:21PM (#32326534) Journal
    Unconstitutional!
    LUL
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... to profit from their self-destruction and not share it with others. The only reason why one might consider this a strange move is that Twitter is the epitome of superficial image cultivation, so it seems natural for its users to see it as an advertising channel.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:28PM (#32326664) Journal
    And here, the competition sleeps with the failwhale.
  • But the whole thing disgusts me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't know why, either, but that's because I don't really understand it. I even skimmed the parts of the Twitter post, and still don't get it because it uses too much new age business gobbledygook terminology - e.g.,

      It is critical that the core experience of real-time introductions and information is protected for the user and with an eye toward long-term success for all advertisers, users and the Twitter ecosystem. For this reason, aside from Promoted Tweets, we will not allow any third party to inject

      • If I read it right they're banning all commercial tweets except those going directly via twitter's in-house advertisers scheme. The adverts produced will be dropped into (I'm guessing at an example) an ongoing conversation using keyword spotting.

        You're right though, doubledoubletwaddlespeak left right and centre.
      • by cgenman (325138) on Monday May 24, 2010 @02:49PM (#32327710) Homepage

        Some twitter viewing applications slide ads into people's twitter streams. Now that Twitter is introducing an official paid advertising service that slides ads into people's twitter streams, they want control over that revenue stream.

        All of the incomprehensible corporate speak is smoke-and-mirrors. Sadly, it will be smoke and mirrors that lots of people will fall for. I've shown junk like this to rather intelligent friends, who then nodded and said "that makes sense." The fact that they actually agreed with it was only slightly less shocking than the fact that they survived the experience without their BS detectors exploding.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Peach Rings (1782482)

          Some twitter viewing applications slide ads into people's twitter streams.

          And anyone uses them?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        >It is critical that the core experience of real-time introductions and information is protected for the user and with an eye toward long-term success for all advertisers, users and the Twitter ecosystem. For this reason, aside from Promoted Tweets, we will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API.

        In terms that a software engineer can understand, it means that Twitter has hired Dogbert Consulting.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by mysidia (191772)

        Handy Translation guide:

        critical to the core experience = critical to our pocketbooks
        real-time introductions and information protected for the user = Marketing content limited to what we are paid for, for our monetary benefit
        long-term success for all advertisers = Advertisers that pay us are the only ones whose ads show up
        Twitter Ecosystem = The users who visit the site and click on our ads
        inject paid tweets = Ads introduced by third party software makers / web sites syndicating tweets, by disp

      • by Orbijx (1208864) *

        Short and curlies translation of the newspeak for the rest of us:

        If you're an advertiser, pay us to use our service so that you can use our users as your advertising mouthpiece. In the end, you're probably going to get paid by people buying your crap, so we want our share up front.

        If you're a user, you can manually type in an ad for something if you want. We can't tell you what not to type, as long as it stays within a reasonable guideline (don't talk about diddling your granddaughter, old man). You just ca

  • Of course Twitter isn't going to allow advertisers to use their API for free. They will muzzle any attempts to do so in the name of preventing spam, then turn around and charge them for the privilege.

  • by vrillusions (794844) on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:32PM (#32326720) Homepage
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DDLKermit007 (911046)
      Hahaha, that's funny...Startup company that adds nothing to a community (just noise) gets screwed.
  • Oh my god! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RabbitWho (1805112) on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:40PM (#32326842) Homepage Journal
    A company wants to make money! I'm starting an online petition!
  • by ShaunC (203807) on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:40PM (#32326846)

    This action taken by Twitter could be a hard hit for small publishers that relied on the paid tweets

    If you "rely" on "paid tweets," go fuck yourself and find an actual business model. Seriously.

    • by Bakkster (1529253) <Bakkster...man@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:48PM (#32326970)

      If your business model is entirely dependant upon another company's service (Twitter, Facebook, Paypal, eBay, etc), then you have no guarantee that your business model will exist tomorrow. Not the best way to run a business.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Zynga would dispute that. They can shut up shop right now and the owners can walk away with hundreds of millions dollars in their pockets. Not bad for a few crap games that relied on social networking sites. They've made themselves a lot of money, which was their aim. Company longevity was never a concern.

        • by ceejayoz (567949)

          Plus, it's not as if the Facebook side of things is all that hard to replace now that they're huge. Folks would likely follow Zynga off-site onto a new platform.

      • someone needs to tell that to Netflix who's rolling out a new backend powered by Amazon's AWS [hackingnetflix.com]
        • by Bakkster (1529253)

          The fact that Netflix has done just fine so far shows that they could continue just fine if Amazon were to fold or shutter this service. Similarly, they could change payment processors or shipping providers if needed and continue to provide nearly identical services. Heck, they can even roll their own software or hosting services due to their size.

          However, if you are a 'Twitter ad agency', then you're boned when Twitter changes the rules to push you out. One should at least be a 'social-networks ad agen

      • You missed "iPhone" (or more specifically the App Store) in that list.

        • by Bakkster (1529253)

          Yeah, that's actually a pretty good example. Of course, it's also mitigated somewhat because the developer could switch to Android or Blackberry.

      • Like Netscape on Windows?
    • go fuck yourself and find an actual business model.

      So a paid tweet is what I thought it was. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:40PM (#32326854) Homepage Journal

    In order to continue to provide clarity, our guiding principles include:
    1. We don't seek to control what users tweet. And users own their own tweets.

    So users are still free to tweet "Blue Sun makes the BEST saddles in the verse! #blueSun #spaceHorse" and receive payment from Blue Sun, but apps can't display ads in the feed that aren't coming from twitter?

    Meh, fine by me.

    • by byronblue (855499)
      I don't think that what it says at all. "Through the Twitter API" means you can't post promoted tweets using their public API, you could still build an app that displays tweets and server ads within the app.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    in 2000/2001 wise man once say "web company make no money is web company that go bye bye"

  • Pooping (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:57PM (#32327068) Homepage Journal

    Pooping. Poop is coming out now.

    This tweet brought to you by Ex-Lax. Helping you to "go", when the going gets tough.

  • This action taken by Twitter could be a hard hit for small publishers that relied on the paid tweets that will be blocked shortl

    By "publisher" you mean "advertising middle-man"? Or maybe "Another business whose sole revenue relies on being the third or fourth party in an advertising imprint?" Cry me a river. Alternatively-- work on a real business plan, selling actual service of value, and see how that works instead.

    • by wmbetts (1306001)

      I think they mean small publishers as in companies that have twitter accounts for their companies that tweet about coupons, deals, etc. I might be totally wrong though as I don't use twitter.

  • by TheSync (5291) on Monday May 24, 2010 @02:37PM (#32327562) Journal

    So what is a "paid Tweet"?

    If Barack Obama tweets about politics, and he is paid to be the President of the USA, is that a "paid tweet"?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're being purposely obtuse, try to actually think of what a reasonable thing could mean. In this case, it's a tweet that you are paying someone to write. Is barack obama being _paid to tweet?_ NO. So it's not a paid tweet.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You're being purposely obtuse, try to actually think of what a reasonable thing could mean. In this case, it's a tweet that you are paying someone to write. Is barack obama being _paid to tweet?_ NO. So it's not a paid tweet.

        He's on the clock at all times, so yes, it's a paid tweet by that standard.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gzearfoss (829360)

      Other 'flavors' of paid Tweets could include:
        - A celebrity that hires a publicity company to manage their Twitter feed.
        - A company that uses a Twitter feed to announce new products, contests, feedback.
        - A famous Twitterer who gets a kickback for mentioning a specific product
        - A person who really likes a specific brand of cookie / restaurant / etc

      Do they have a plan to separate out that fourth person from the previous three?

  • Don't know exactly how they are going to do these "Promoted Tweets" but if advertising tweets start appearing in my feed I'll be leaving twitter...
    • by dangitman (862676)

      but if advertising tweets start appearing in my feed I'll be leaving twitter...

      That's rational, but what I don't understand is why anyone would begin using Twitter in the first place.

    • On no! Organize a LeaveTwitter Day! Hurry!

      • You could make a Facebook group! And if we get enough members, then Twitter will...

        Nope, sorry guys, I can't bring myself to finish that sentence.
    • by DrGamez (1134281)
      Anyone who hasn't left (or never started to use) Twitter deserves to have ads thrown in their face. For a vast majority of people anything you could say in a tweet wouldn't be missed.
    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      It isn't in the feeds yet, just at the top of the search results. They're supposed to be relevant, but some of my programming searches get Starbucks and Virgin Airlines promo-tweets. In the grand scheme of things it is small peanuts compared to a) Google Ads on Google searches and b) big companies that slap large Flash adverts and more all over their articles/"blogs" while splitting the article into multiple pages for more ad views.

      • Hmmm, well Starbucks is relevant to programming. Don't all programmers need vast quantities of caffeine? Maybe that's just me and my addiction...

        I agree it's not as bad as flash ads all over blogs as long as it stays in search results but Google Ads on searches don't really bother me. Maybe you see something different to me but I only get ads in the form of paid links on the far right of the search results.
  • Almost all the people I follow are "real people" and not organizations. There is one Si Valley VC incubator I follow that's sort of interesting; but I only started following them recently. I'm not commercial so I don't care. If people who WANT to get spammed help support Twitter, fine by me. I've found Twitter to be the "I don't have to deal with Farmville invites, or drunk pictures" version of Facebook. If they were to clutter their UI, that would kill them for me. This won't.

    • It's really hard to resist commenting on your sig. Tell me it's a collection of flamebait for pendants! Irregardless, I just cant take it!
    • by mysidia (191772)

      They are not regulating what tweets other people can send by this. They are regulating tools using the twitter API that display tweets. Such as a Twitter iPhone client (for example), that allows you to search for tweets, without using the website.

      The new rule means that if the client uses the Twitter API, they cannot inject paid Tweets into the Tweet stream that they display.

      These "paid tweets" are essentially ads created locally by the client and made to look like real Tweets from someone else.

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