Google has gone out and purchased a major Twitter competitor in Jaiku, which Google will more than likely use as part of its Google Mobile Talk & Google Mobile AdSense … and now it seems like Twitter may be gearing up for that push by testing its own advertising on the mobile.
Andy Beal looks at an example screen capture of Twitter Tips, which could be an advertising initiative by the company.
Could it be that Twitter is testing users’ reactions to adding small text messages to their Twitter conversations? It certainly looks that way.
Interestingly, the message didn’t appear on the web version of the conversation, only the mobile version. That might suggest the ads could at some point rely on your location to send you geo-targeted, relevant ads. Tell your Twitter followers that you’re heading out to lunch in Raleigh, and the Twitter tip might suggest a restaurant.
If Twitter starts selling advertising itself, the company could show that it can stand on its own two feet and possibly compete with new services which the major players like Google, Digg or Yahoo will be/are launching. And if Twitter can pull it off, it would also make itself a much better target for acquisition.
The problem with innovators like Twitter however, are that once advertising is added, the community might go nuts over it and form a mass exodus. Think Flickr. Think Del.icio.us. Start running ads the users don’t like, and they move on. Get acquired to better monetize, and users revolt.
Such is one advantage Google may have when they launch their Google version of the Twitter model, people expect ads on Google. People trust Google ads. People trust Google.
If Twitter starts running advertisements in their messages or blog updates, they better be good and live up to the label of Tips, if not; there may be a problem.