Ever since Twitter started 4 years ago, the question on every industry insider has been "How can companies harness the popularity Twitter's 50 million daily posts?"

Today, there is an answer as they  launch 'Promoted Tweets', which will first be displayed in search results, and later, in user feeds both on Twitter.com and programs such as Tweetdeck.

"Initially, Twitter's version of keyword ads will appear only on searches conducted on its website; users will start seeing those Tuesday afternoon. A single ad will appear at the top of a search. That ad is itself a tweet, and users can "re-tweet" the ad to pass it around, make the ad a favorite or reply to it."

[Read more at Adage]

The main difference between Google adwords, and promoted tweets are significant:

  • 1 Twitter ad at a time
  • Marketers can use them to start conversations
  • Companies can purchase keywords, to keep them on top of the search for that trending word

This kind of advertising, deep in the heart of social media, is a game changer. When your ads are directly put into play as conversation, they will evolve and hopefully, educate advertisers on what consumers want and revolutionize the way the ad industry works. Commercials, branding on everything from walls, to tshirts, to ball parks has failed. Consumers are more likely to trust a brand they hear in conversation from their trusted circle than by a billboard they saw on drive into work.

Twitter understood that its semantic, real-time search engine evolved from just a microblogging site and they have been very slow in unveiling an advertising platform that would be in line with their vision. For evidence of this, look at how they will sell ads:

"Initially, advertisers will bid on keywords on a cost-per-thousand basis, but Twitter is developing a performance model that could be the basis for pricing based on a metric called "resonance" -- impact judged on how much a tweet is passed around, marked as a favorite or how often a user clicks through a posted link. Ads that perform well will stay in the system; ads that don't rise above the resonance score of a typical tweet from a marketer will fall out."

As they release details on how to advertise on the Twitter platform, we'll be analyzing and reporting on how best to utilize this new stream for your online store.