Product placement in Twitter. It’s nothing new, but it is becoming more widespread and could become problematic if not kept in check. Recently Amazon announced a new feature for Amazon affiliates to easily share products on Twitter. This move could generate a massive amount of revenue for Amazon but it could also cause a lot of problems for Twitter users too (i.e. more Twitter spam if it’s abused). You can currently see the responses about Amazon’s new Share on Twitter feature by searching for the hashtag ‘#AMZNSOT’. While searching the tweets it seems like there’s mixed feelings about the overall move by Amazon. That is, Amazon Associates seem to love it but a few negative tweets from other Twitter users tend to sprout up now and then in the search results. Whether that equates to a silent majority of Twitter users that see nothing wrong with this, and therefore don’t speak up, or they are simply unaware of it remains unknown.
The immediate marketing potential of this tactic could be significant seeing as several brands have already found great success from running simple promotions on Twitter. This however opens up another avenue of generating revenue and finding a unique but effective broadcasting tool that directly affects consumers. That’s great for online businesses and marketers but when does it all become too much? That is Twitter users are already inundated with marketing fodder on Twitter and it just keeps getting worse by the day. Yes, it’s easy to avoid the spam if you just stop following the companies pushing out tweets about their new and/or discounted products. But what about your friends that are Amazon affiliates? And what happens when becoming an affiliate in this manner is more standard across network user bases, encouraging everyone to the digital version word-of-mouth marketing?
We’ll have to then cut off our friends on Twitter, in effect changing the way in which we interact on the microblogging site. Amazon may not single-handedly start a revolution for Twitter communication, but it could lend itself to ongoing consideration of how a site like Twitter is used. The missing link in all of this is still the absence of Twitter. Is it sharing in a revenue split with Amazon as a result of all the tweets? Could this be another potential way in which Twitter could earn its keep?
As expected, Twitter is still being very careful about the way in which it goes about monetizing its services. Selling out too soon could set the site on an irreversible course towards irrelevance. Then again, it could be the greatest broadcasting tool of all time. Even with the added ability for companies to promote their products through individuals’ tweets, Twitter itself will need to regulate a great deal of user and enterprise activity on Twitter in order to maintain the site’s value to consumers.
Certain features will need to be enhanced or limited to suite consumers’ needs. That means that Twitter will likely need to continue on its path for more delineation of tweets, providing more organization and seamless feature integration for its site. In some ways, Twitter could be great for marketing rues. Yet the users still need to have control over the content they consume through Twitter. Preserving the ability to communicate with friends with Twitter acting as a cross-service and cross-device switchboard is the principle to which it needs to adhere. Moving forward, balancing these two aspects of its business will be key for its ongoing development and success.If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page or subscribe to our NetworkedBlogs profile.
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