Atul Arora’s Blog

May 2, 2009

AdTweets: A proposal to add sponsored results to Twitter Search Results

Filed under: Uncategorized — Atul Arora @ 10:14 pm

Twitter has been testing ad-like units on the web page for the last few weeks. They are highlighting a number of applications and websites built on top Twitter API. For example for the last few weeks they have been promoting Stocktwits, Twitterrific, Tweetdeck etc. However no ads appear on the searches performed by end users either on the pages or off the search functionality that was recently added to the main page.

The following is a modest proposal for an ad-unit that Twitter may wish to introduce in their search results. One can call them AdTweet (or TweetSense) units.

The Twitter ad unit will have the following features:

  • It will be 140 characters or less i.e. just like any other tweet
  • The advertiser will need to have a twitter account so that the look and feel of the ad unit looks like a tweet.
  • The ad will be clearly marked as a sponsored tweet.
  • Much like Adwords, the ad-unit  will appear before and after the search results possibly in a slightly different background color to distinguish them from regular tweets.
  • Advertisers may need to use URL shortners like or to shorten their URLs
  • There will be no timestamp associated with the tweet since they aren’t real tweets but ad-units

The sponsored results offer a number of benefits for the various constituents:

  • For Twitter, it provides a mechanism monetize search results by introducing an ad unit that looks and feels like a tweet.
  • For Advertisers, it provides a medium to market their products and services via the most visible property on the web today. For example, Amazon like advertisers can have an AdTweet that takes user to the product page on Twitter. Search Engines like Google or Yahoo or Microsoft can utilize Twitter as a meta-search engine. Media properties like New York Times or Wall Street can provide context to news-related keywords.
  • For end-users, it potentially provides a context for their search term. For example, if a user is buying a Canon EOS 40D, the sponsored results provide a link to research or purchase the product. Or say the user heard about the Seesmic desktop with Facebook functionality. Seesmic can provide the link for the download via a sponsored tweet versus hundreds of links that may fly past in the search that simply are reviewing or discussing Seesmic.
  • Twitter can also mandate the use of url shortners in these ad-units and license the rights to url shortening to these ad-units to someone like or

Here is a couple of screenshots of the proposed ad units. The ad units are marked out in red.




March 15, 2009

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Atul Arora @ 9:41 pm

Dipping my toes into the world of blogging. You can always follow me on twitter at @atul or on FriendFeed at

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