While the idea of Promoted Tweets, special messages on Twitter paid for by companies, hasn’t exactly made people do back flips, how do you think people are going to react to the idea of Promoted Tweeters? Well, it isn’t a done deal yet, but it might be coming soon, and this is sure to be a fiery subject on the popular site for some time to come if it does.
According to MediaMemo, internal discussions are happening at Twitter right now to launch a Promoted Tweeter program that would put users front and center before other people on the site in the hopes that they will become followers. While Twitter is so far neither confirming or denying the internal discussions, thoughts have already circulated that pricing for this feature may either be based on impressions (the number of people who see the ad) or possibly on the number of people that actually become followers.
Peter Kafka, the author of the article, makes a very good point that this will place a huge question on what exactly the value of a Twitter follower is. People have been trying to calculate this since the site launched, and now a real world amount may very well be placed on them by the company itself.
While it is of course Twitter’s right to do whatever it wants with its site, it makes you wonder about some of the motivations are behind this, beyond potential profit of course. The company has been very critical in the past of third-party systems that helped you get more followers because everyone thought it was far more about quality over quantity, but when there is a dollar to be made for them, they completely shift speeds? Seems a bit disingenuous to me.
For now this is reportedly just in the talks stage, but hopefully Twitter will see the dislike being expressed online and take a lesson from it … don’t do this.
What say you? Would you ever pay to have more followers?