We all knew this dark day was coming:  Today, Twitter announced plans to poke outside advertising into our update streams.  The Twitter blog post announcing the change in functionality and the shift in tone is cleverly written, but the writing has now not so invisibly been placed on the proverbial wall.

Here’s the most notorious part of the announcement:

Q. You said, “first phase”; what else do you have planned?

A. Before we roll out more phases, we want to get a better understanding of the resonance of Promoted Tweets, user experience and advertiser value. Once this is done, we plan to allow Promoted Tweets to be shown by Twitter clients and other ecosystem partners and to expand beyond Twitter search, including displaying relevant Promoted Tweets in your timelines in a way that is useful to you.

Doublespeak is fun, right? — “displaying relevant Promoted Tweets in your timelines in a way that is useful to you” — oh, I love how Twitter knows that advertising jammed into our updates is good for us. 

What a bunch of hooey.

Twitter isn’t alone in spoon-feeding us the idea “advertising is good for you” smackhoople.  Apple is hucking a similar lie with the introduction of iAds in the impending OS 4.0 iPhone update.  Sorry, Apple, but I don’t want embedded advertising on my iPhone streamed to me as “entertainment.” 

I can’t do anything about iAds, but I can control my Twitter embedding.  I’m sure Twitter will one day allow us to pay for the privilege of “opting out” of the “Promoted Tweets” advertising scheme — but I won’t be paying for that feature, and I’ve already started the slow process of disembedding all Twitter widgets found on the Boles Blogs Network.

I have no interest in advertising Twitter “Promoted Tweets” on any of the sites I create or blogs I write.

I’ve already noticed a dramatic decrease in page time loads for the blogs after removing the Twitter widget.  We’ve shaved off an average of three seconds of load time per page! 

Without the slow-loading Twitter widget on our blogs, we’re now averaging less than a second for page loads across the blog network — and taking back total content display of our pages is a delightful, and unexpected, benefit of proactively opting-out of the Twitter “Promoted Tweets” timeline.


  1. A sad day in Twitter history. I suppose they have to make money but why should it have to be at the expense of our timelines?

  2. Twitter was always about advertising, Gordon, but the infrastructure wasn’t mature enough for effective niche delivery. Now that they’re set up, they’re going to set us up and, I believe, they will gain even more than the 60% of “dead Tweeters” they have now. The ruination of Twitter in the end will be this grab for outside advertising dollars when, I believe, they would’ve been better served by charging Tweeters for enhanced services instead.

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