Companies Tweet For Attention Twitter is wildly popular, credited with making the career of pop stars and keeping Conan O'Brien in the public eye while he is off TV. But Twitter isn't making money that is proportional to its pop culture cred. Today it announced one way it is going to try to change that: promoted tweets, also known as advertising. Companies can pay to have their messages show up first in searches on Twitter's site.
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Companies Tweet For Attention

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Companies Tweet For Attention

Companies Tweet For Attention

Companies Tweet For Attention

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Twitter is wildly popular, credited with making the career of pop stars and keeping Conan O'Brien in the public eye while he is off TV. But Twitter isn't making money that is proportional to its pop culture cred. Today it announced one way it is going to try to change that: promoted tweets, also known as advertising. Companies can pay to have their messages show up first in searches on Twitter's site.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

LAURA SYDELL: Unidentified Woman: The President of Poland...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV PROGRAM, "LOPEZ TONIGHT")

GEORGE LOPEZ: Conan O'Brien will be joining us on late night on TBS.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BABY")

JUSTIN BIEBER: (Singing) Baby, baby, baby. Oh...

SYDELL: First, to research analyst Augie Ray.

AUGIE RAY: They'll get a chance to see what is being called a promoted tweet that stays constant, as opposed to other tweets which constantly flow down the page as new tweets come in.

SYDELL: Ray says advertisers are going to have to think differently if they want their ads to be effective.

RAY: This is not an ad where you get to talk about yourself exclusively. It's an ad where you either create dialogue or you create value for others. And if you fail to do so, then your ad simply won't appear for very long at all - people vote it out of existence.

SYDELL: Gartner analyst Andrew Frank says today's announcement was modest but there's more to come.

ANDREW FRANK: They made it pretty clear that this was the first phase of something that they expected to refine over a long period of time.

SYDELL: Laura Sydell, NPR News, San Francisco.

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