Twitter Closes API Doors To Third-Party Ads

A month after releasing its promoted Tweets service, Twitter announced through its official blog that it is now blocking third-party advertisers from using its API.


The post is quite long and the real news is buried in the middle of it, in one sentence: "aside from Promoted Tweets, we will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API."

"We are updating our Terms of Service to articulate clearly what we mean by this statement, and we encourage you to read the updated API Terms of Service to be released shortly," it said.

The micro blogging site cites two main reasons for this decision.

Keeping things simple
First, it wants to keep the timeline attractive and the user experience pleasant and "healthy" by banning clutter that would be detrimental to the site. "For example, a third party ad network may seek to maximize ad impressions and click through rates even if it leads to a net decrease in Twitter use due to user dissatisfaction," said Dick Costolo, Twitter's COO, in the post. He further insisted on the company's aim to foster "innovation, not near-term monetization."

Money Money Money
Secondly, Twitter breaks down the reality of such third party ad costs: it is the chirpy company that has to bear most of those, from maintaining the website (well, of course) to security, user request and service scalability. "Indeed, Twitter will bear many of the support costs associated with any third-party paid Tweets, as Twitter receives support emails related to anything a user sees in a tweet stream. The third-party bears few of these costs by comparison."

What's Left For Marketers?
The next thing to look forward to now for ad networks and marketers is the launch of Annotations, which was announced last month at Twitter's Chirp developers conference.

With the introduction of meta data in and around Tweets, new business opportunities will arise, Twitter said, citing two examples: "Twitter clients could begin to differentiate on their ability to service different data-rich verticals like Finance or Entertainment. Media companies in the ecosystem can begin to incorporate rich tagging capabilities."

Will Annotations make up for third-party ads loss ? What do you think ?

About the author

Liva Judic joined Search Engine Watch and ClickZ in May 2010 as a news blogger. She has lived and worked across the globe in Madagascar, Switzerland, London, NYC, Asia and is now based in between New York and Berlin.

Her background is in government relations and financial media where she started out as a journalist at Bloomberg and became senior editor at AFX news (now part of ThomsonReuters). Prior to forming her own consultancy Judic was head of international PR for a head of state.

Judic focuses on facilitating brand and marketing transitioning for European startups moving to the US. She has been named one of the Top 50 Industry Influencers of 2014 by AGBeat