Twitter users better prepare themselves to soon be bombarded with adverts in their Twitter streams. Be-A-Magpie is actively looking for users willing to risk their collection of followers by giving over their Twitter accounts to advertising.
As a professional blogger, and writer for sites such as Blorge, I can’t really be too harsh about Internet advertising, as it indirectly pays my wages. But there’s a time and a place for it, and there are ways and means of delivering advertising that doesn’t inflict on people’s time and attention too much.
For instance, as a reader of Blorge, I find the advertising just right. It doesn’t infringe on my time on the site, and doesn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of reading the articles. But not all forms of Web advertising are quite so subtle and underplayed.
There are the pop-up and pop-unders that open new tabs and windows in your browser. Then there are the adverts that pose as links in the body of text. Yes, they do their job, but I don’t like them personally. And then there are PayPerPost type adverts, where whole articles or posts become adverts for a particular company or product.
PayPerPost itself is a hugely criticized company, which teams companies with bloggers, the latter of which promote the former in return for cold hard cash. And now Twitter, the micro-blogging service which seems to be gaining in popularity on a daily basis, is getting its own form of PayPerPost.
TechCrunch reports on Be-A-Magpie, a new German company looking to inflict advertising from its partners on the Twitter stream. Advertisers pay a set CPM (cost-per-mile) rate and in return get their adverts embedded on one in every five Twitter messages sent by people signed up to the service.
You’ll already know if any of the people you are following have signed on the dotted line because Be-A-Magpie is currently advertising itself on these people’s Twitter accounts. Twitter’s terms and conditions don’t currently ban this kind of advertising, but it wouldn’t take much for an amendment to be made, especially if Twitter was itself hoping to reap the benefits of this type of revenue scheme in the future.
The problem is that this is very intrusive advertising. It’s not posted in addition to a tweet but is itself a tweet. I’m afraid that anyone who I see posting blatant advertising on their Twitter account, either via Be-A-Magpie or any of the other numerous similar services being lined up, will find themselves being instantly ignored.