Monday, June 21, 2010

Twitter Paid Trending

See that image to the right? That is my trending bar from Twitter. If you don't use Twitter, trending topics are items that are getting a lot of play during the day. You may wonder why mine is for São Paulo. Well, as far as I know, you cannot remove trending from your screen, so by choosing São Paulo I am free to ignore topics, as I don't know what most of them are (obvious exceptions with the World Cup going on). See, the Brazilians are not yet big Justin Beiber fans, and since he owns Twitter I had to pick a place he was not yet destroying.

Today I see Toy Story 3 in my São Paulo trending. "Wow," I thought, "it is big there too?" I am sure it is, but then I notice the little "Promoted" button. When I mouse-over it, it says "Promoted by Disney/Pixar."

First, I understand that Twitter needs money to operate. I don't know who is funding it in general, but they do not have banner ads and are providing a free service. Good for them getting Disney to shell out some bucks. Also, good for them in making it clear that Toy Story 3 is not actually trending in São Paulo, but rather Disney paid for it to be trending there. I have no fault with Twitter on this account.

Now, I am also not going to disrespect Disney here either. I am sure they bought up key search terms at Google, and banner space all over the internet. I do think this is a weird thing though. Trending topics are what people on Twitter are talking about, and if Toy Story 3 has the caveat "promoted" next to it, then it is inferred that people are not talking about it. It makes Toy Story 3 look like the unpopular kid who gets invited to the party because he promised to bring beer. It just seems like an odd move to me. The only time I see people mentioning trending topics is when they complain one thing is trending, or another thing is not. I mean, the movie did huge bucks at the theater, but now it has this image of, well, punk ass me trying to promote my blog.

I'm no expert, but I think this is a bad move. I wonder what it cost, and if it will become a normal thing?


Action Flick Chick said...

If they need a Promoted Topic to generate revenue, sure, whatever, but listing it with Trending Topics damages the credibility of "trending."

Darius Whiteplume said...

I'll buy that. I guess they want to keep away from banners, plus I guess APIs would eliminate the banner but do have trending. Gotta have money to keep the whale at bay ;-)

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