Twitter and the tax man have at least one thing in common: bold, new ideas for making more money off the Internet.
This week, microblogging site unveiled a search ad program that will put brands' messages into users' Twitter streams. The essence of Twitter's new business model is giving businesses the opportunity to push their Twitter accounts further into the site's massive audience.
The company insists that "promoted tweets" aren't ads, but tweets, which in one sense is just Silicon Valley futurist-speak. But in another sense, the company is right: in choosing to promote a tweet in search, a company selects keywords and then chooses the existing tweets from its account that it wants to promote. Users can reply to them, retweet them, and add them as favorites. And there will be real-time analytics attached.
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