Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Should I advertise on Twitter?

Apparently Twitter sent me some credits to use in their advertising program. Now, I really don’t like Twitter’s promoted tweets — I’d prefer to be the customer rather than the product. (That is, I’d like to be able to give Twitter money for an ad-free experience.)

At the same time, I’m curious to see how the advertising system works. I’d like to understand it and blog about it, but Twitter would like to maintain confidentiality around the program. They’re engaged in white-hot competition with Facebook and Google to be the new advertising platform of the future. At the same time, it’s less transparency than the exceptionally high bar that Twitter has generally aspired to.

That said with the launch of Control-Alt-Hack, my collaborators have stuff to sell and give away. (Not to mention maybe a sales bump for The New School of Information Security?) Or maybe I could promote other books that I think people should read, like “Thinking, Fast and Slow“). Does the nature of what I’m advertising change the calculus? Would advertising the giveaway make it different?

Then again, I do lots of “advertising” on Twitter already–I advertise the book, the game, blog posts, ideas I like. Does paying to bring them to more people dramatically change the equation?

Interestingly (and I think this is something that can be discussed, because it’s visible), I’m offered the chance to promote both tweets and myself.

I’d be really interested in hearing from readers about how I should take advantage of this, and if I should take advantage of it at all.

3 comments on "Should I advertise on Twitter?"

  • phred says:

    The first thing I do with a tweet that says (sponsored) is dismiss without reading.
    I have logged in to the service much less often since overt advertising started.

    If I want to find out about your products (or those of another company) I will opt in and follow you, or them. Electronic junk mail is annoying. When I get physical junk mail I use it in the wood stove.

  • Phil says:

    I believe I have never seen a promoted tweet from someone I follow. In response to every promoted tweet that has shown up in my feed, I have immediately blocked the promoter’s account.

  • Ask yourself … what would Charlie or Moxie do? .

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