Twitter’s growing up. And part of that means trying to make some money.
In an announcement Monday (euphemistically named “Enduring Value“) Twitter made changes to its ad policy, a step that included banning many forms of third-party advertisements from the site. “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,” wrote Dick Costello, Twitter’s chief operating officer.
To translate into English, Twitter doesn’t want companies to be able to clog up your feed of tweets with advertisements. Well, other companies. In April, Twitter released its own form of advertising on the site dubbed Promoted Tweets, which lets companies purchase a spot in your Twitter feed and search results to hype a product. Twitter, of course, gets revenue through this model — it doesn’t if advertisers use one of the third-party advertising sites like Ad.ly.
Twitter’s announcement is probably a good thing for users, but essentially kills some of the businesses that have popped up around the Twitter platform. As Twitter matures, its had to wrest control over pieces of its product back from third-parties who sprung up to fill the gap. (The company’s acquisition of Tweetie being the most notable example.) For the people who build products that depend on Twitter, abrupt changes in policy like this have to be troubling notions indeed.