Twitter has seen a healthy amount of growth, especially last year, but it is adding new users at a steady pace even now. A big part of its success is due to the third-party services that have grown around it, built on the Twitter API. Twitter’s popularity hasn’t translated into too much revenue just yet, as is the case for many of the hot new web services including Facebook, but it’s moving in that direction with Promoted Tweets. In a lengthy post today, the company has made an announcement that is bound to affect at least several of those third-party services, it will prohibit any kind of advertising in-stream except for its own Promoted Tweets.
“It is critical that the core experience of real-time introductions and information is protected for the user and with an eye toward long-term success for all advertisers, users and the Twitter ecosystem. For this reason, aside from Promoted Tweets, we will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API,” Dick Costolo, Twitter’s COO, announced.
Several companies will be hit by this decision, especially those selling so called ‘sponsored tweets.’ There are other ways for companies to monetize Twitter, but it is a blow, at least on the short term.
But Twitter says the decision was necessary to ensure the quality of the service and the future of the entire platform. The company adds that third-parties may not share Twitter’s vision on what the user experience should be and may abuse the users’ trust for their short-term financial gains or market share.
The second big reason, Twitter says, is that these companies don’t necessarily have Twitter and the platform’s long-term success and sustainability in mind. This means it has to take matters into its own hands and enforce these new rules to ensure users get the best possible experience regardless of where they engage with the service.
But all is not lost, Twitter states there are plenty of other methods for companies to make money offering services related to the micro-blogging platform. Furthermore, the company assures it won’t be pursuing any monetization possibility out there. What’s more, with Annotations around the corner, companies will have even more opportunities to generate revenue without resorting to in-stream tweets.