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Twitter's Vague Ad Model

May 25, 2010 6:58:29.041

Twitter has decided on (shocker), an ad model for revenues. The fun part is their terms of service, where they want to shutdown anyone else doing something similar on Twitter:

In cases where Twitter content is the basis (in whole or in part) of the advertising sale, we require you to compensate us (recoupable against any fees payable to Twitter for data licensing).

But what does that even mean? You could classify my Smalltalk posting as advertising for Cincom, and I do a lot of that (take the daily screencasts as the prime example). I post them here, the posts get auto-tweeted, and then the tweets find their way into the Facebook news stream. How does that get classified by Twitter?

What about the book reviews I do, where I put in an Amazon affiliate link? I don't get paid for those reviews (and the affiliate links don't pay either), but it could be called advertising. What if I actually reach the monthly minimum at some point and get a check from Amazon? Does that count?

The theoretical answer is "no" - they only want to go after bigger players. The vagueness leaves a huge hole for paranoia though, and I'm not the only one asking these questions...

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posted by James Robertson

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