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Twitter Ads Imminent, Might Actually Make Money

Twitter Ads Imminent, Might Actually Make Money
One of the games that digital prognosticators love to play is guessing when and how Twitter will make money. We've taken particular joy in lambasting one of our favorite social networks for absorbing investor dollars like a black hole. But all of the fun and games may be coming to an end now that rumors are swirling of a Twitter Ad platform that will be unveiled at South by Southwest (SxSW) Interactive.

According to MediaPost, Anamitra Banerji, head of product management and monetization at Twitter, has confirmed that the service is working on an advertising platform. This is following a panel on interactive advertising hosted by Seth Goldstein, CEO of socialmedia.com, where Banerji reportedly unveiled Twitter's plans in a relatively vague fashion. According to Goldstein and MediaPost, the plan is to let brands and companies interact with consumers and capitalize on trending topics (can't they already do this?), as well as ensure that the delivered content is "relevant and useful." Banji also indicated that initially the ads would feature hash tags to distinguish them from tweets, but that the developers were working on a better solution.

While no firm date has been given, it's been reported that the launch is "imminent," and some expectations are that an official announcement will come at SxSW. The revenue source is slightly surprising since founder Biz Stone dismissed the notion in May of 2009 when speaking to CNET. However, the "ad platform" may just be the first part of a broader plan for corporate accounts and analytics tools that Stone promised in an interview with VentureBeat back in August.

There is, of course, the danger that, if Twitter becomes saturated with advertising and "corporate accounts," it could drive away many users. For now, we'll just have to trust that the micro-blogging service knows what it is doing and has something interesting up its sleeve. We'll be waiting for April's Chirp, the official Twitter developer conference, to get a better idea of how the new platform will evolve. [From: MediaPost, GigaOM, and CNET]

Tags: advertising, anamitra banerji, AnamitraBanerji, biz stone, BizStone, south by southwest, SouthBySouthwest, sxsw, top, twitter