“Particular brand of bullshit”

Twitter says its users like the ad experience. Ben Brooks doesn’t agree.

  • jwoodgett

    Tobacco companies say that their users like their increased incidence of lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.

  • EzraWard

    I wouldn’t say I hate it, but I don’t love it.

  • r2shyyou

    I absolutely LOVE the ad experience on Twitter…if you’re comparing it to the same on Facebook. (Facebook’s ad implementation is the social network equivalent to a Samsung TV commercial.) Otherwise, they’re still ads that I have yet to ever care about and don’t expect to anytime soon.

    I still don’t get why I can’t pay a fee – monthly, yearly, whatever-ly – to rid myself of them.

    • Joe

      If you think about it carefully, there’s a pretty obvious reason why you’re not likely to get the choice to pay for an ad free experience — imagine how Twitter would explain such a system to their remaining advertisers… “Yeah, well many of our users who have and are willing to spend money are opting out of your ads, but you are still welcome to try to sell to the users who are broke and/or cheap!”

      • r2shyyou

        While I’m sure this will come as a great shock to you, I actually HAVE thought about it (the term “carefully” is a subjective one).

        The reason for these ads is for Twitter to make money. They saw approximately $260 million in ad revenue in 2012 and are projected to see approximately $400 million this year (Source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/twitter-statistics/).

        If Twitter offered paid ad removal on a monthly, multi-monthly and/or bi-yearly, and yearly basis at varying rates ranging from $5/month to $30/year, I believe that whatever depreciation there would be in the “value” of the ads they sell (and there certainly would be more than none) would be outweighed by the revenue from ad removal subscriptions.

        For example, if we assume that the minimum yearly revenue per paying customer is $30, the max is $60, and the average is $35, and if we assume a 5% paying base, that would equal approximately $175 million in subscription revenue. If Twitter is to reach the $400 million number cited above, they’d need to secure only about 55% of the ad revenue they’re already estimated to bring in this year. That should be pretty damn easy for them to hit. Anything more is gravy.

        All of this is of course based on assumptions but my point is that advertising to 95% of those you advertise to today shouldn’t damage the ad value by nearly 50%. And if Twitter can penetrate more than 5% of their active base with subscriptions like those above, they’d be making more money than they are today, which is all the ads are for anyway.

    • Funny to read this because people keep saying App.net is doomed to failure because nobody will want to pay for it. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t… but it’s interesting to see you talk about how you wish that option was available.

  • When did Steve Ballmer take over the PR duties at Twitter?

  • Wow

    Ugh. Please stop linking to that windbag.

  • I can’t wait for Twitter to bring this great ad experience to third party clients.

    (Because then I’m outta here.)

  • samdchuck

    I guess I do like the experience, having only seen one ad ever.

  • Twooter

    I saw a video on the BBC website a few years back where a reporter was showing two newspapers to some teenagers. One was a well-respected broadsheet and the other one was a trashy tabloid.

    Unanimously, the teenagers said they wanted to read the tabloid instead of the broadsheet. When asked why, one girl said she liked the tabloid because of all the ads in it. She said she liked the look of them – they were funny and she thought they were giving useful information. Frighteningly, she was more interested in the ads than the news.

    So I’m not surprised if Twitter says there are users who like the ads. There are plenty of people who do. You could argue that those people are immature, naive or plain stupid, but you can’t deny that they exist.