Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Why Sponsored Tweets Will Fail

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Finding a viable business model has been the 800-pound gorilla in the room at the Twitter office for some time. They hope that their recent launch of Sponsored Tweets, which will see brands pay to have a sponsored tweet appear in search results, will solve this problem.

But the business model of sponsored tweets is fundamentally flawed and sadly destined to fail. It overlooks the raison d’etre of Twitter – allowing candid conversations online.

When people search for something on Twitter they do so because they want to know what people are saying about that topic, whether that topic is a brand or otherwise. While Google search is used to find general information, which implicitly makes paid ads a credible option, Twitter search is about finding a conversation. The reality is that it is extremely difficult for a brand to be a credible part of that conversation.

Brands can certainly be part of the online conversation and some have done a great job with this – Zappos and Dell come to mind although many more exist. But brands cannot be the conversation by themselves and this will largely preclude their sponsored tweets from being valuable search results.

What do you think? Will Sponsored Tweets be a viable business model for Twitter?

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Written by benwisebranding

April 14, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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