Twitter ads could be coming to your profile

We’re all use to seeing Twitter ads in our feeds, but now the social media site is testing advertising in user profiles, too. THUMBS DOWN EMOJI.

According to Re/code, the company’s testing promoted pages on a limited number of profile pages, presumably to see if people revolt/notice. They won’t be right next to your face looking like you endorse them, or anything. They’ll be a few tweets in and be marked as ‘Suggested by Twitter’, so it doesn’t look like you’re shilling for some of your favourite brands.

Still, if someone isn’t familiar with how Twitter works and glances quickly at your page, or if the divide between real and advertising tweets isn’t clear enough, it could look like those tweets belong to the person whose profile it is. And it could potentially bring up all kinds of ethical conflicts: a vegetarian’s profile featuring a McDonald’s ad, maybe, or a decent human being’s feed infiltrated by UKIP messaging.

As Mashable notes, Twitter needs to come up with ways to make more money as it’s hoping to jump from last year’s earnings of $1.4 billion to $14 billion by 2024. But if the site becomes plastered in ads it’s not going to be as fun to use o they need to find the right balance between pleasing advertisers and not alienating users. For now, the ads won’t sully appear on verified users’ profiles, and they’re targeted, so only users who are logged in will see them.

Diane Shipley