The next phase of the monetization of Twitter has arrived, according to AdAge. The magazine reports that the micro-blogging site has started the process of dropping advertisements into the streams of Twitter users who access the site through the third-party Twitter client Hootesuite.
According to AdAge, Twitter started the rollout on Monday with advertising for a handful of companies including Virgin, Starbucks and Red Bull. More than 900,000 users of Hootesuite began seeing graphic advertising messages appear along with Tweets from friends in their stream. AdAge reports that Hootesuite will receive a share of the advertising revenue generated by Twitter in exchange for allowing the ads.
How will the public react to seeing the online ads in their Twitter feeds? Leading social media marketing consultant Jason Fells said that many long-time users could “blast Twitter for selling out their streams. There will be calls to boycott and the like.” However, ExpertLabs co-founder Anil Dash said that the key will be how Twitter handles the initial backlash from the hardcore users.
“The key question is how [Twitter] handles the response, whether they actually iterate and listen, and whether people’s behaviors on Twitter are welcoming of brands in general,” said Dash. “Lots of the celebs and companies people follow are ‘brands’ anyway, and a huge number of Twitter users accept default suggested Tweeters (like me) as an acceptable level of noise in their experience amidst the people they’ve chosen to follow.”