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This article was published on April 14, 2010

Has Twitter Got It Wrong? AdAdmire launches ads for followers, not tweets

Has Twitter Got It Wrong? AdAdmire launches ads for followers, not tweets
Kim Heras
Story by

Kim Heras

Kim Heras is a Sydney-based technology writer and entrepreneur. His passions include the Australian startup industry, innovation and the Kim Heras is a Sydney-based technology writer and entrepreneur. His passions include the Australian startup industry, innovation and the web as an enabler of change. You can follow Kim on twitter - @kimheras

Yesterday, Twitter announced its new advertising strategy focused on “Promoted Tweets”.

Today, Australian startup Melon Media, the maker of popular twitter follower management tool ManageTwitter, has announced the beta launch of its own twitter monetisation platform – AdAdmire .

The difference?

Melon Media is betting that the real value in social media, for advertisers at least, is related to the type of followers they can build relationships with, not the type of information users are searching for or that moment of attention they pay to something in their stream.

Peter James from Melon Media further explains this point.

“We think their approach to monetisation is ordinary, linear and doesn’t match up to the depth and breadth of the Twitter user’s experience. “Promoted Tweets” will in addition only be able to add value to the Twitter user’s experience in as much as advertising can ever add value.”

The AdAdmire platform, on the other hand,  has been built to address 2 key issues:

  • Third Party Twitter applications (and Twitter itself) have a challenge monetising their applications in general and in particular in a way that further adds value to the user’s experience
  • Twitter users want to follow accounts that are relevant and interesting to them – the more relevant, the more interesting, the more they want to follow that account.

So how does it work?

Once logged into to the Third Party Twitter application (e.g. AdAdmire analyses a Twitter account holder’s information (tweet content, location, etc), and makes intelligent recommendations to the user regarding Twitter accounts that would be of interest to follow.

Check out the image below to see what I mean:

Related to this, Twitter users (whether individuals or organisations) can sign up to have their accounts advertised to appropriate viewers of AdAdmire.

And the best bit for advertisers? You only pay when someone actually clicks through and follows you, so measuring effectiveness of your spend becomes incredibly easy.

The only downside for now is that because AdAdmire is currently in closed beta you need to submit a request to try it out.

Why I Hope AdAdmire Takes Off

Personally, I’m kind of hoping AdAdmire takes off just to prove to Twitter how short-sighted it’s being with Promoted Tweets.

After reading about the new plans yesterday I was kind of disappointed that after all this time Promoted Tweets was the best the team could come up with.

Sure Twitter will make a lot of money out of Promoted Tweets but it’s hardly game changing in the way that AdSense was, especially considering that Ev Williams has often spoken about following Google’s trend in building up a highly used service then figuring out how to monetise it.

Actually, let me go a step further. Promoted Tweets will never be what AdSense was,  a tool that used technology and the nature of the Internet (to reduce information costs, reduce transaction costs and create markets), to crush and democratise a massive industry that was crying out for reform.

AdAdmire, on the other hand is, at the very least, trying to understand the new dynamics of social media and create tools for it, not for a bygone era.

I say that because AdAdmire’s focus seems to be on a core, and evermore important part of social media – influence. They do this by increasing the number of defined and interested followers you have so that you can build that influence in direct relationships.

Twitter on the other hand seems to be dealing at a much more simple level – search and attention.

From an advertisers perspective, SEO is just a proxy for influence, right? You aim to get your product/service returned as high as possible to try and increase your influence. But in social media you don’t need proxies. The tools exist for organisations to develop direct, meaningful and influential relationships with their customers.

On top of that embedding advertised tweets into social media is just about trying to bully your way into the attention of someone checking out their twitter stream.

Not good.

So while Twitter will probably do very well out of promoted tweets, and AdAdmire, like most tech startups, will struggle against enormous odds to make something of themselves, it doesn’t change the fact that I wish Melon Media all the best.