Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Three years into nonprofit ownership, The Philadelphia Inquirer is still trying to chart its future
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Jan. 8, 2013, 9:49 a.m.

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
   
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Three years into nonprofit ownership, The Philadelphia Inquirer is still trying to chart its future
Buyouts, rebranding, good journalism, and a vision still in progress: The Philadelphia Inquirer has had quite a summer. The metro newspaper business is still tough, even without a hedge fund or private equity pulling the strings.
People avoid consuming news that bums them out. Here are five elements that help them see a solution
“It is important that journalists take the time to fully explain the issue and the response before exploring implementation, results, and insights.”
The Boston Globe continues its regional expansion experiment, with students in a suburb
“Investigative reporting is great to have, but first we need the basics — and we’re no longer getting them.”