Pollution in the Twitter Stream

15 12 2010

Twitter has launched its advertising package with promoted tweets, promoted trends and promoted accounts available to all.  Whilst in various ways users have been able to boost their follower numbers for some time, now followers can simply be purchased via twitter itself, something that fundamentally alters the ecosystem.

“Whether you’re gearing up for a big product release or event, or just looking to expand your presence online, building a strong base of Twitter followers who will share your content and amplify your message makes all the difference…unlike a “like” action, a new follower stays with you.” says the twitter ad blurb.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out for Twitter.  My hunch is that it will turn established users away.  The growth of Twitter has been phenomenal, according to the official blog there have been 25 billion tweets this year.  That’s a pretty stunning total given that at the start of the year 7.3 billion tweets had been posted in three and a half years.   However the pace of growth is slowing.  There were 5 billion tweets between the 31st July and the 20th September, that’s 50 days. It took 52 days for another five billion to be posted.  Twitter has made it much more difficult to monitor tweet volume since they moved away from sequential numbering of tweets.

So if twitter has flatlined and in terms of tweet volume it appears that it has, adding adverts to our twitter stream is hardly likely to  boost loyalty and usage.



2 responses

15 12 2010
Tweets that mention Pollution in the Twitter Stream « PR and the Social Web -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rob Brown and katehughes, redbrand. redbrand said: RT @robbrown: Could twitter ads spell the beginning of the end? http://bit.ly/fkeEDU […]

29 12 2010
Rob Thomson

Twitter is like a great torrent of water – a river rushing to the sea. It’s strength should be that it can’t easily be diverted or dammed.
So we should be worried that advertising may change Twitter – because advertising always want to channel an audience towards its own messages.
Good advertising and marketing is likely to be creative and so a welcome addition to the flow.
But commercialisation is a threat. This could come about if Twitter allows it.
Happily there should be enough of us out here in the blogosphere to come up with a new replacement.
Then we can start the whole social media cycle again.

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