Ad or Not?

Published on February 23rd, 2015

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Can You Spot the Ad: Twitter

Scattered among the 500 million messages or “tweets” broadcast over Twitter everyday are tweets that advertisers pay the social network to strategically place in the timelines of users whose Twitter activity (or Twittertivity, if you will) makes the ad relevant to them.

Twitter says this form of native advertising is “clearly labeled” as such. But why don’t you be the judge: Can you spot the ad in this series of tweets that appeared in our timeline (@TruthInAd) on Friday, Feb. 20?

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Drawing a blank? Here’s a clue: “Promoted.” That seems to be Twitter’s preferred name and label for paid content separate from everything else in your timeline (Politico and Yahoo both call it “sponsored” content, as discussed in previous Can You Spot the Ad posts). Still scratching your head? Well, time’s up.

The native ad here is a tweet from a cyber and data security company called Imperva. The words “Promoted by Imperva,” which appear under the text and photo of the tweet and are accompanied by a white arrow in a small yellow box, identify the tweet as paid content.

Says Twitter:

Promoted Tweets are clearly labeled as Promoted when an advertiser is paying for their placement on Twitter.

Would you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Advertorials, or paid sponsored content, that may or may not be properly labeled as such.

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