With around $100 million in financial support from high-profile investors such as Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter will now enable companies to advertise on the site based on keywords in users' searches.
On Tuesday, co-founder Biz Stone blogged that the "Promoted Tweets" program will launch with advertisers including Best Buy, Bravo, Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Starbucks, and Virgin America. He describes the program:
Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets that businesses and organizations want to highlight to a wider group of users.
You will start to see Tweets promoted by our partner advertisers called out at the top of some Twitter.com search results pages.
A sigh of relief that the service will find a way to stay afloat or an "oh $#*@" that the service won't maintain its grassroots essence while it is vying for your keywords?
Another point of contention is how effective this be for the advertisers who are also trying to use Twitter in a more conversational, authentic way, via live tweets. Will the new model impact how PR professionals use the service?