Twitter bans third-party ads

26 May 2010

Twitter had decided to ban third-party services placing advertising on its messaging platform in a move that prohibits developers with services or applications using the Twitter API to place any ads in their implementation of the timeline.

This means that third-party Twitter apps injecting ads into their service will now have to update and remove this functionality in order to comply with the new API terms of service.

Twitter’s decision follows its recent introduction of Promoted Tweets; a new business model that brought on advertising partners including Sony Pictures, Starbucks and Virgin America, whereby partner tweets will serve the dual purpose of appearing ordinarily in the timeline but will sit at the top of related search results within Twitter.

In response to possible questions about why Twitter is protecting its own revenue model at the expense of third-party developers who have worked with the company from the beginning Dick Costolo, COO of Twitter, said: “It is important to keep in mind that Twitter bears all the costs of maintaining the network, protecting the Tweet stream against spam, supporting user requests, and scaling the service.

“Indeed, Twitter will bear many of the support costs associated with any third-party paid Tweets, as Twitter receives support emails related to anything a user sees in a tweet stream. The third party bears few of these costs by comparison,” he added.

Costolo went on to explain that Twitter’s new Annotations feature would present revenue opportunities for third-party developers: “We know that companies and entrepreneurs will create things with Annotations that we couldn’t have imagined.

“Companies will emerge that provide all manner of rich data and meta-data services around and in Tweets. Twitter clients could begin to differentiate on their ability to service different data-rich verticals like finance or entertainment. Media companies in the ecosystem can begin to incorporate rich tagging capabilities.”

By Marie Boran