Top Tweets is a Trojan Frog

// // May 14th 2010 // Advertising + Social Media

Top Tweets look like Promoted Tweets. That’s no mistake.

Top Tweet by AJ Kohn

Promoted Tweet by Sony

Top Tweets

Twitter is getting users used to seeing something ‘stuck’ at the top of search results. Today it’s Top Tweets but tomorrow it will be Promoted Tweets. Top Tweets are innocuous for the most part and leverage game theory psychology around being the best or most popular for a certain fiefdom. Twitter would likely say that Top Tweets deliver ‘resonance’ (aka relevance) for that search result and they’re probably right.

Resonance is Quality Score

Twitter’s resonance sounds an awful lot like Google’s quality score. The launch of Promoted Tweets touted the fact that low resonance would mean the removal of that Tweet. Perhaps a few will fall below that resonance threshold and be removed. More likely, resonance will be used to secure top placement for a search term and/or reduce the CPC paid for that placement.

Multiple Promoted Tweets

Right now you see just one Promoted Tweet per search result. But lets look at how Twitter is displaying Top Tweets.

Top Tweets Smash Summit

Top Tweets are stacked at the top of search results. What does that remind you of?

Google Three Ads Search Result

So, how long until we see stacked Promoted Tweets?

Integrated Tweets

The difference in presentation between a Top Tweet and a Promoted Tweet is small. This allows Twitter to swap Top Tweets for Promoted Tweets with little visual dissonance. Not only that, but Twitter could integrate Top Tweets and Promoted Tweets, stacking them by order of resonance. What better way to make that real estate interesting to users. By doing so they’ll prevent ‘banner blindness’. Far-fetched?

Sponsored Tweets and Top Tweets

Trojan Frog

Trojan Frog

Twitter is undertaking a boiled frog strategy for getting acceptance of ads within search results by using Top Tweets as a Trojan Horse. In doing so, Twitter may actually have a viable paid search business in their future, and they’ve already got a potential ‘network’ in place with application partners.

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Comments About Top Tweets is a Trojan Frog

// 2 comments so far.

  1. Chris Eppstein // May 15th 2010

    I have to say that I think the top tweets feature is brilliant. When I search the tweetstream, I don’t want to see the stupid me too tweets. I want to see the tweets that matter. Twitter needs to make money, if the price of being able to tap into the realtime collective consciousness of the internet is seeing a few ads, I’ll take that trade in a heartbeat.

  2. Andy @ FirstFound // May 17th 2010

    Yeah. that’s definitely softening us up for some sort of pay-per-tweet advertising.

    I’m not sure about top tweets either, I mean, Twitter’s supposed to be this egalitarian place where ideas get shared. It’s already lost some of that with the “super celebrity” element. Marking out some tweets as superior to others just seems wrong to me.

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