Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Gimlet wants to become the “HBO of podcasting” — here’s what its founder’s learned trying to get there
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Jan. 8, 2013, 9:49 a.m.
ap-samsung-sponsored-tweet

The AP is selling ads in its tweets, but Twitter doesn’t mind

Celebrities have been selling tweets to advertisers for years now. Now the Associated Press is giving it a try.

The Associated Press is selling ad space in its 1.5 million-follower main Twitter feed. The wire service is sending out two sponsored tweets per day for the duration of this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And Twitter was quick to respond, both negatively:

and positively:

AP’s first sponsored tweet (or “SPONSORED TWEET,” for emphasis) went out Monday afternoon with a link to Samsung’s livestream of the conference:

If there was opposition to the move, it didn’t lead to any mass exodus of Twitter followers; AP media relations manager Erin Madigan White said the @AP account saw a pretty typical daily increase of a couple hundred followers today. The wire says the deal is part of an advertising expansion that will focus on mobile and social media and that it has built internal guidelines to make sure its advertising and editorial roles don’t overlap.

The AP is not the first news service to attempt to turn their Twitter feed into a revenue stream — one plenty of celebrities have also tapped, with various Kardashians getting thousands per tweet. Slate sold sponsored tweets to Samsung back in 2011, as BuzzFeed recalled, and a number of local papers, including the Hartford Courant and the Times Picayune have also given it a go.

Back in 2010, Twitter banned the third-party insertion of ads into third-party Twitter apps. But Twitter’s policy says sponsored tweets like AP’s are okay as long as they are “manually posted or approved” — that is, not automated.

But those rules could change, as Twitter’s have a number of times before. Twitter offers its own Promoted Tweets and other advertising products; Samsung advertises through those, too. Some, like BuzzFeed’s John Hermann, said they wouldn’t “be surprised to see Twitter crack down” on feed-by-feed ad deals.

But a Twitter spokesperson said “as long as it’s not spammy, it’s permitted,” and that moves like AP’s don’t threaten Twitter’s ad services offer, like more detailed information about targeting or clicks. And there’s “only so much inventory that AP has” — and Twitter has a firehose.

POSTED     Jan. 8, 2013, 9:49 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Gimlet wants to become the “HBO of podcasting” — here’s what its founder’s learned trying to get there
Alex Blumberg, CEO and co-founder of Gimlet Media: “People who like public radio like podcasts, but people outside of public radio also like podcasts. So let’s find those people.”
Can Campbell Brown’s education news site walk the advocacy–journalism tightrope?
The new venture, cofounded by the former CNN and NBC News anchor, is not ashamed about having an agenda. One key part of its toolkit: using video to create a “Waiting for Superman”-like impact on the discussion around education.
Trouble in paradise? How the struggles of two Hawaiian paywalls reflect larger industry trends
The Honolulu Civil Beat and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser both introduced paywalls a couple of years ago. Now their strategies are showing signs of stagnation.
What to read next
1119
tweets
New Pew data: More Americans are getting news on Facebook and Twitter
A new study from the Pew Research Center and Knight Foundation finds that more Americans of all ages, races, genders, education levels, and incomes are using Twitter and Facebook to consume news.
538How Upworthy is using data to move beyond clickbait and curation
After hiring Amy O’Leary from The New York Times, the site has started using user data to inform its original content production.
534Putting the public into public media membership
Getting beyond tote bags and pledge drives is critical to the sustainability of public media. Is there an alternative vision of membership that relies on relationships more than money?
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Fuego is our heat-seeking Twitter bot, tracking the links the future-of-journalism crowd is talking about most on Twitter.
Here are a few of the top links Fuego’s currently watching.   Get the full Fuego ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
The Daily
The Washington Post
Crosscut
Alaska Dispatch
Spot.Us
National Review
Craigslist
The Huffington Post
TBD
Bayosphere
Sacramento Press
Minneapolis Star Tribune