According to recent news reports, Twitter announced yesterday that they will begin placing advertisements in users timelines, in a long anticipated attempt to effectively monetise the service.

These ads, or “promoted tweets” as Twitter calls them, will be delivered only to followers of the company that’s advertising (for now?) and they’ll be launching it with only a select number of companies to start with, including Dell, Groupon, Microsoft and Red Bull.

In their official post on the Twitter Blog, they also mentioned that promoted tweets for non-profit organisations such as Red Cross and the Make-A-Wish Foundation will also be shown.

According to the blog, “When we decide to follow a favourite brand, business or charitable organisation, we expect to be among the first to get a special announcement, access to exclusive content or a great offer. That’s why starting today, we’re introducing a way to ensure that the most important tweets from the organisations you follow reach you directly.”

Twitter Profit

Despite its huge growth in the last couple of years, (with over 175 million registered accounts), nobody is quite sure whether Twitter does, (or can) make money. In fact, chief executive Dick Costolo last week declined to reveal whether the company made a profit.

He did point out that the number of advertisers on Twitter has increased by 600% over the last year though, so maybe there’s a message in that.

Promoted Tweets

So the new “promoted tweets” will be like ads, they’ll appear in your timeline (“at or near the top”) if you follow the advertiser who sends them out, they’ll appear just once, and you can dismiss them with a single click.

Interesting…I actually think they might have hit on a workable method here.

We’ll be watching with interest and, of course, keeping you up to date.

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