I Support Twitter’s Ads, and So Should You

Ok, so pretty much anyone who’s tech-savvy knows by now that Twitter has started “embedding” ads in its search results. Embedding is in quotes because Twitter will say it’s the wrong word. They like “promoting”.

In a system it calls “promoted tweets”, it lets advertisers pay to have their tweets promoted in places like searches and in their followers streams–or so far as I’ve understood, at least. Granted, I don’t understand much about this new revenue system, and I don’t really care to; an odd approach, given the post title. Let me explain.

I’m not so much saying that you should support Twitter and its ads; instead, I’m saying that applications should. Twitter made the risky decision to not require its third-party clients to include the promoted tweets, and to split the revenue with them. Meaning if a developer doesn’t want to display ads in their application, they don’t have to. Which is admirable.

And yet, I’m claiming that developers should include these promoted tweets in their application. And here’s why: it isn’t the developer’s choice.

Ads have a really negative stigma associated with them today, and for good reason: most suck and are annoying. We need to keep in mind the point of advertising, however: to make us buy things. And so long as we aren’t being tricked into buying things, one would imagine that we’d actually want what we’re buying. This is what the whole industry is built on. Advertising is simply the business of bringing a user and the product they want together. Everyone wins.

Most users, however, don’t want to see these promoted tweets. Why? I don’t care. Honestly, it’s superfluous to my argument, a tangent that only breeds trouble. I don’t know enough about the system to argue it effectively. But I do know that if I’m a user, there’s a chance that I may enjoy these ads, they may work for me, or hell, that I may want to support Twitter. And why should the developer of the application I’m choosing to use make that decision for me? With Twitter launching its own official clients, developers can’t afford to estrange users by making decisions for the user.

So yes, I support Twitter’s Ads. I’ll be asking @funkatron if we can include them in @spaz. But, to be perfectly clear: I support including them as an option. A check box in the settings page. Let the user decide.