With a new placement option within the reply threads of tweets, Twitter is trying to expand its ad inventory. According to Twitter's release, the new ad option will have ads presented among the first few answers to a tweet, 'exactly where the discussion is happening,' as seen in this example tweeted by Twitter Revenue Product Lead Bruce Falck.
Last month, Reddit announced something similar in its post comments. Because the format is still in beta, only a select group of people will be able to see the promoted tweets. Even yet, you should expect a backlash, as Twitter users are often averse to any change, particularly one that places more ads in their way and distracts them from the app's dialogue. But there's another side to this new experiment that's worth considering. According to Falck, the option may essentially permit direct monetization of tweets, with the tweet originator being able to opt-in to these advertising and then receiving a portion of the cash generated.
This meshes with Twitter's overall creator monetization push, giving it more motivation to keep its most popular users tweeting more frequently, but it could also be fascinating to enable selective retrospective activation of such. When a tweet gets viral, for example, you'll frequently see the tweet creator add a reply emphasizing their SoundCloud or a charitable cause to which they can then draw greater attention as a result of that tweet.
But what if you could directly monetize and be compensated for all of your viral tweets?
In an ideal world, you wouldn't have to opt-in to monetize all of your Twitter responses using this method (and, of course, there would be a reply threshold to qualify for this display anyway). However, if you could turn it on for specific tweets, it might be a huge win for the app and give users even more reason to become viral with their humorous comments and thoughts.
This may not be a good thing, because most people aren't very good at tweeting. However, for those who are, and who consistently have high traction, it could be a worthwhile alternative, as it would provide more individuals a reason to keep trying and staying active in the app.
Twitter claims the trial is still in its early stages, and it will experiment with varied frequencies, layouts, and 'contextually relevant placements' in the coming months. However, there are some fascinating points to ponder. For marketers, being able to tack your pitch onto a viral tweet might have tremendous awareness value, especially if Twitter develops useful context tools for targeting.