I suppose Twitter has to make money somehow. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, the company is expected to roll out 15 new kinds of ads over the next six months or so.
You get an ad! You get an ad! Everybody gets an ad!
According to the Journal, the new ad initiative will start modestly enough, with a new type of ad that encourages Twitter users to download apps to their smartphones: Clicking the download link will take you to that app's listing on the App Store.
It doesn't take too much of a leap to see how these sorts of ads can be applied to other goods or services. Imagine, if you will, an ad for a movie or local sporting event that has a "Buy tickets" button instead. According to the Journal, Twitter executives have been showing potential advertisers "how Cards can be used to encourage users to sign up for sweepstakes and contests with one-click sharing of their email addresses."
The Wall Street Journal report goes on to say that these new ads will be an extension of Twitter's preexisting "Cards," which currently show previews of images, videos, or webpages--among other things--alongside a tweet.
Of course, nothing prevents businesses from inserting an app download or "purchase" link in a sponsored tweet today, but the Journal notes that "Twitter has been experimenting with other ways to use the card to boost users' engagement with advertisers." giving users a clearer call to action in sponsored tweets seems to be one way to do just that.
How this will impact Twitter from a user experience standpoint is anyone's guess. So far, the company's ad programs have been fairly unobtrusive. For our sake, let's hope things stay that way.