Resonance: Twitter Wants Just the Good Ads to Reach You

John Battelle, on Twitter’s newly announced Promoted Tweets advertising program:

Ads will be delivered in the grammar of the service itself, not secondary to it.

This could be Twitter’s most significant contribution to online advertising. In the grammar means an ad must fit – and belong – in the primary flow of content. In other words, it can’t visually break up the flow of content, or contextually interrupt a person’s reading by radically departing from the tone and voice present elsewhere on the page (I’m looking at you flashy display ad unit sitting in the middle of an article or blog entry).

So how will those ads get in your grammar? They have to earn the right to be there by scoring a high enough resonance. If they don’t, you won’t see them:

Twitter will measure what it calls resonance, which takes into account nine factors, including the number of people who saw the post, the number of people who replied to it or passed it on to their followers, and the number of people who clicked on links. If a post does not reach a certain resonance score, Twitter will no longer show it as a promoted post. That means that the company will not have to pay for it, and users will not see ads they do not find useful, Mr. Costolo said.

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