Yesterday, we saw our first ads via @smashingmag‘s Twitter feed. There was some outrage about it. People stating they were no longer following them because of it, which I find ridiculous. Smashing Magazine has provided valuable content, tutorials, and information at no charge to its readers. Smashing Magazine needs some way to pay the bills. There may be better ways than advertisements on its site and Twitter feed, but the amount of ads and their placement is by no means unreasonable. I didn’t see any of the protesters state that they would gladly pay money for their content for it to be ad free. Smashing Mag quickly posted a poll following the backlash. Initially, it weighed heavily on “No way, I’ll unfollow right away!”, but the pool seems to have leveled out with the majority of people understanding that “Yes, you need to pay bills eventually.” You can view the poll, and let your voice be heard too.
The tweet in question can be found here. As you can see, @smashingmag clearly states that this is an ad. They could have easily pushed this service as something they value without stating that it was a paid advertisement. I like the fact that they are up front about it. Think about how many tweets promote products and services, and now think about how many of them could have been paid for without your knowledge. Think about how many people you follow, and how many tweets come through your stream everyday. I currently follow a modest 59 people, and receive about 200 tweets per day. I don’t have time to read every single one of them. Most of any twitter ads will get overlooked as many other tweets do. Twitter ads are not ideal, but depending on their frequency, they are a tolerable way for content providers to make money.