October 12, 2010
Long before there was Google Adwords it was Overture, and before pay-per-click search engine marketing was even born, there was a website called Goto.com. If you’ve been marketing products/services online for more than 10 years, you might remember that Goto.com was the original and one-of-a-kind when it came to bidding on keywords and ranking for them in search results.
Fast forward to today, and the same man responsible for Goto, Bill Gross, the team at Idealab and other investors, are attempting to repeat that success with the invention of Postup.com – a concept very similar to Google Adwords, but this time for Twitter and other social networking platforms. When first launched, they were called Tweetup and were only for Twitter, but they’ve since changed the name and included other social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.
It is a self service bid-based marketplace that runs on a patent-pending platform. At the time of this writing, it’s only available to those in the U.S. but eventually plans to go international.
The concept is simple really. You sign up, bid on keywords and your posts will appear in Postup’s sponsored results when a search is done for that phrase. They’ll also appear on a number of particular sites and other Twitter third party apps, such as Twitterfeed and Tweetdeck. Partners also include Answers.com, Seesmic, Popurls, TechCrunch and more. They’ve also recently purchased Twitdroid, a Twitter app for Android phones.
With the help of multiple distribution channels, Postup’s search results will be widespread and viewed by millions. This is a great way to not only display sponsored posts, but also grow your base of Twitter followers and “friends” all at the same time.
To sign up, you’ll need a credit card, although initially it won’t be charged as all bids are set to “0” by default. Unless you decide to place a bid, they’ll remain that way. An email is sent that must be confirmed to complete the account activation process. Right now it’s based on CPM, cost per impression, but that may change down the road into cost per click.
At the time of this writing, Postup is still collecting stats and bids, but they are live on a limited number of partner sites. Right now, search results are organically optimized, but in the future bidding will open on keywords and you’ll have access to an account page to edit settings and bid on keywords. Many factors are used to determine relevance such as how much is re-tweeted, popularity of posts and more. They
also give users what is called “Authority Ranking” based on the topic they mostly post about. The best posts will go to the top of search results.
You’ll also want to make sure your social network bios are up to date and reflect your areas of expertise, as it’s used by Postup’s search function to help establish the quality of your postings and ranking.
Third party Twitter clients and websites who partner with Postup to display their sponsored posts do receive a cut of the ad revenue. There are four formats to choose from.
1) PostUp API – For apps and clients
2) PostUp Twidget – For Content Pages
3) PostUp Search Field – Search without leaving your site
4) PostUp Sign-Up Widgets
As you can see, for Postup to be a success, they need to have a multitude of distribution and partner sites. They’ve been hard at work getting all of their “ducks in a row.”
As everyone knows, Twitter has launched their own “Promoted Tweets” program which now puts Postup as a direct competitor. Twitter has also announced they will not allow third party networks to place ads in their timelines. Twitter users are able to, just not third parties. According to Twitter, they made this decision to preserve the integrity of the user experience. Twitter’s chief operating officer stated:
“We will not allow any 3rd parties to inject paid ads into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API.”
So how will these new rules affect Postup, if at all? Well, third party apps can still run next to and around Twitter feeds, even next to Twitter search results, but they must be separate. This does put Twitter in control of who’s running ads in their timeline, and they can block the AP access of anyone not playing by their new rules.
According to Postup’s Blog, they state they do comply with Twitter’s new terms of service. For more, see their blog at blog.postup.com.
So for now, it looks as if Postup has found a way to work with Twitter’s new rules. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. This may also explain why they’ve decided to branch out into other social networks, and not put all of their eggs in one “Twitter basket.”
The Internet is often compared to the Old West Gold Rush days, and in some ways maybe it is. Goto.com was a brilliant concept back in the day, and it’s possible that by taking the popularity of Twitter and other social networks, and merging it with sponsored ads, gold may be struck twice. I for one can’t wait to find out.
For more information see: www.PostUp.com or follow them on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/PostUp
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