Twitter has today announced that ads are coming to the timeline of its mobile versions of Twitter on iPhone and Android, marking a departure from its previous policy of only displaying them in the mobile web versions of Twitter.
While the Promoted Trends and Promoted Tweets in Search products have existed here for a while, the Timeline is a much bigger deal and far more visible than either of these sections. This means that advertisements are coming to the official mobile Twitter clients in a way that will be visible for the first time to many users.
Twitter explains that the rollout of Promoted Accounts will be first for the mobile platforms, with Promoted Tweets following thereafter. Promoted Tweets will appear ‘near the top’, but not at the top, of user’s timelines from brands that they already follow. Twitter says that this will ensure that they’re seeing ads on topics that they care about.
Promoted Tweets will appear in your timeline like any other Tweet, and like regular Tweets, they will appear in your timeline just once; as you scroll, the Promoted Tweet will flow with the rest of the Tweets in your timeline.
As with Promoted Tweets in search, we will only display Promoted Tweets in the timeline when they are relevant. If you see a Promoted Tweet that isn’t relevant to you, you can easily dismiss it from your timeline with a single swipe.
Promoted Accounts appear in your list of Who to Follow recommendations.
These ads will not show up in the iPad version of Twitter for the time being, likely because the app has not been updated to reflect the new design and feature set of Twitter’s other mobile offerings. Any advertisers looking to purchase ad space will get a package that includes mobile automatically. Last June, it was revealed that a Promoted Trend ran around $120,00 per day in a regular ad buy.
At the moment, only Twitter’s Android and iPhone apps are affected. This means that if you want to have an ad-free experience, you’ll need to pick up a third-party client like Tweetbot or Twitterrific. At the moment, there have been no indications that Twitter will be forcing third-party developers to display ads, and there would have to be significant changes made to the API before they did.