Microblogging site Twitter has revealed the next step of its plans to take over the world - actually starting to make some money. The company has long resisted pressure to plaster the site with display ads, only adding tiny sponsored links to 3rd party products based on Twitter in the sidebar.
However, it's now revealed what it'll be doing to make money. In a blog post, the company has introduced Promoted Tweets - messages from a handful of companies that will appear at the top of search results pages. Those companies will at launch include Best Buy, Bravo, Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Starbucks, and Virgin America.
The Promoted Tweets will function in every way like normal tweets, and can be interacted with - retweeted and replied to in the same way normal tweets can. Ones that get very little interaction will be removed more quickly than those which get a better response. All will be clearly marked as "Promotional".
Twitter said in a blog post: "Since all Promoted Tweets are organic Tweets, there is not a single “ad” in our Promoted Tweets platform that isn’t already an organic part of Twitter. This is distinct from both traditional search advertising and more recent social advertising. Promoted Tweets will also be timely. Like any other Tweet, the connection between you and a Promoted Tweet in real-time provides a powerful means of delivering information relevant to you at the moment".
Can this save Twitter? Or will it be hamstrung by the fact that it's only available to big corporations and only appears in search results, not regular tweet-streams? Let us know what you think of Twitter's proposals in the comments.