Rumors that Twitter will be launching an ad platform in about a month have me wondering whether I'll stick around if that turns out to be true. Is Twitter a valuable enough resource to me that I'll be willing to put up with ads mixed in with the content? I don't know. The keys to making online advertising effective are context and relevance. The reason why AdWords work so well is that it presents information that a user is already looking for. If I'm searching for cheese gift baskets from Google, and a few paid ads from iGourmet come up, I might just click on them. You could certainly argue that is a legitimate result to my search query.
What we do know is that traditional interruption-type ads, like banners or pop-ups, do not work online. These just get in the way of whatever it was I was doing on the internet in the first place.
I guess we won't know till next month what kind of ads Twitter is planning on delivering, and Anamitra Banerji, head of product management and monetization at Twitter promises they will be "relevant and useful." But ultimately Twitter is about communication, not search. What kind of ads could they possibly foist on me that would be relevant?
So consider this the start of the Twitter backlash. Indeed, depending on what kind of ads they end up deploying, I think the backlash against Twitter could make the backlash against Google Buzz look tame by comparison.
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