Twitter to Sell Political Advertising
With the 2012 campaign expected to cost candidates well over a billion dollars, it’s no surprise that companies that count on advertising are angling to get a slice of that huge pie. Twitter is one of them, and plans to market its advertising services to the campaigns thanks to a key hire of a former political marketing executive from Google.
Twitter told Politico that it plans to sell ads through features such as promoted tweets and trends. At least five campaigns have already signed on to the new offering, including Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign. Twitter declined to specify the other participants.
One thing it will not do is insert ads within user’s timeline, a new advertising option that it has been experimenting with over the past few months. It also plans to differentiate a political ad from a standard one: the ad will carry a small purple checkmark.
You won’t see the standard “I approve this message” tag on tweets. Twitter won’t display them directly with the tweet, however hovering over the tweet would show who purchased the advertising if the campaign decides to disclose it. (It should be obvious anyway, since the ads would direct to a URL or Twitter account where the identity would be disclosed, I’d guess).
I wonder if like TV and radio, Twitter will become a sea of political ads in the days before an election, with the candidates sniping at each other continuously. Let’s hope not.