Twitter Rolls Out Sponsored Trending Topics
The micro-blogging site Twitter started using its popular "trending" area on users' homepage to display sponsored topics.
Ever since the site launched in 2006, many tech industry insiders have wondered how the site would develop sustainable revenue streams.
Speculation included having Goole-style ads appear on a user's homepage that were derived from the content of the user's tweets or the tweets by the people the user followed. Ultimately, Twitter settled on sponsored tweets, where advertisers could purchase space within the 140-character limit to show to users within their streams of posts.
Now, the "promoted" trend takes that sponsorhip into a new area. Apparently, advertisers can pay quite a lot of money for a trending term, and Twitter will put a little box with the word promoted next to it.
The "Trending Topics" area has traditionally been organically generated based on the terms and hashtags (when a term is preceded by the '#' symbol) from users. This feature came under fire recently when it seemed like it was being dominated by fans of the teen singer Justin Bieber and Twitter took steps to filter out the Bieber references from the trends list.