Twitter to use “Promotional Tweets” as paid advertising.

According to this New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller, Twitter has a plan for “Promoted Tweets,” which will pop up when a user does a keyword search:

The ads will let businesses insert themselves into the stream of real-time conversation on Twitter to ensure their posts do not get buried in the flow.

Starbucks, for instance, often publishes Twitter posts about its promotions, like free pastries. But the messages quickly get lost in the thousands of posts from users who happen to mention meeting at Starbucks.

What does this mean for you, as a Twitter user?  The “Promoted Tweets” seem very similar to Google’s “Sponsored Results,” in that the advertiser-sponsored tweets will appear within the search results.  Eventually, it could mean that you see tweets from companies that you aren’t even following, without searching for keywords.  Twitter seems committed to making sure that the new advertising system doesn’t turn users away:

It is still figuring out how to determine which promoted posts should appear. It could be based on topics they are writing about, geographic location or shared interests of people they follow.

Interested in learning more? Check out Twitter’s video tutorial.  It’s aimed at potential advertisers, but still informative for the average Twitter user.

Sources: NY Times, Twitter Support