The (not so) secrets of promoted Tweets and Twitter accounts

270910075043Promoted_TweetsA free service is allowed to make money, just as consumers are able to go elsewhere if they don’t like it.

I’m not sure how many other people are bothered by promoted tweets on the Twitter service, but I managed to have them beat for a few weeks by blocking any account that promotes itself.

For those that don’t know promoted Tweets are one of the paid for services you can get from Twitter.  When the bothersome things started appearing again on my timeline after a few weeks hiatus I decided to look into them a little further and found some information which people might not know.

1. Promoted Tweets are supposed to be targeted towards users relevant to the advertiser.  I won’t be getting any LA Galaxy ads, but, if the system works properly, Portland Timbers related products would hit my timeline (for example)

2. Advertisers pay for interactions NOT the promoted tweet, so you pay if someone re-tweets or replies etc to your advert.

3. Since its a pay for interaction, you can set a budget for your advertising campaign. (see below)

Our pricing system is based on bidding – you set the maximum amount you’re willing to spend per follow or click. You may pay up to this amount, but it is likely to be less because you’ll never pay more than one penny above a competitive bid. To make it even easier, we’ll give you suggestions for what you should bid to optimise your campaign.


So if I’m reading this correctly, you “bid” with other products in order to get your promoted tweet shown.  I wrote an article a while back regarding promoting tweets and I found that many people use the “report/block” feature to get rid of them.  Listen up Twitter – This is a social network/micro blogging site.  If I want to be advertised at I’ve plenty of avenues.  These promoted tweets are not on and are ruining the experience.

Instead of infecting timelines with this promoted rubbish, why can’t they merely place ads in the side bar or similar?

You’ll only be charged when somone engages with your Promoted Tweets or follows your Promoted Account


Putting aside that the “Business Twitter” page can’t spell “someone”, in light of there being no opt out feature, I don’t know what else to do.  I’m fed up with having to block these accounts.  Twitter may make money from adverts, but no product that promotes its tweets gets business from me – its a point of principle.  A product invades “my space” – I boycott that product.  There are many other users who think the same way.

Maybe, just like the spelling mistake, Twitter needs to pay attention to the finer details of these adverts before more users become fed up.


5 thoughts on “The (not so) secrets of promoted Tweets and Twitter accounts

Add yours

  1. Twitter may make money from adverts, but no product that promotes its tweets gets business from me – its a point of principle.

    Yep. Never, ever, buy anything from anyone who uses that sort of advertising.


    1. I’ve noticed that as well as companies promoting their wares, there’s a growing number of personal twitter accounts using this method too….

  2. I suspect that they are on to the block method… Either there is a maximum blocked account number and the oldest block falls off, or they unblock after a set time. I’m getting a lot of spam, and suspect seeing reruns.

    If they pay per interaction, perhaps informing them of the blocking right before you do it might kill 2 birds with one stone.

    1. I couldn’t comment about the block feature but what I would say is that I’ve blocked over 200 and have yet to get a repeat performance of those blocked.

      The method I adopt is to block promoted tweets, thier associated accounts and Twitter accounts that follow me but are themselves private. I went from at least 1 promoted tweet a day to now less than 1 a week….it remains to be seen if a block drops off after a certain number.

      The message I want to send out is not so much that I disagree with Twitter making money, but more that individuals can buy their way into peoples attention on Twitter. Twitter should be about what you discuss, reputations should be built and earned, not bought.

      Thanks for replying.

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