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March 24, 2009

I Told You Twitter Was Testing Ads!

Remember last week I blogged about what appeared to be in-line text advertisements being tested on Twitter? Well it’s been confirmed: Twitter WAS testing ads.

Today I noticed a new text *notice* on the Twitter web platform linking to a site called ExecTweets (pictured).

Realizing this was the first such notice to link out to a 3rd party site, I recognized it as Twitter’s first official advertisement. I did some investigative journalism (well ok, I simply used Google and a WhoIs lookup) and found out that Twitter has gone into partnership with Microsoft and John Battelle’s advertising company Federated Media to create ExecTweets.

ExecTweets collects Tweets from various business executives, collates and republishes them. According to Frank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim, Twitter is reportedly receiving an undisclosed payment for giving the site its stamp of approval and for promoting the site on Twitter itself. Federated says it plans on launching similar programs on Twitter with other clients.

So in effect, Twitter’s first pay per click advertiser is Microsoft. Other sites being featured in the new text ads include Tweetie the Twitter iPhone app and Twittervision, although according to New Web 2.0 Magazine, Tweetie isn’t paying a cent for the ads.

You can read more about ExecTweets and the 3 way partnership on the Federated Media blog and the Twitter Blog.