Quick! What’s the one thing you HATE seeing when browsing online, on Facebook or other regular sites you visit? No, not Justin Bieber, although his image does strike fear in the hearts of adults the world over. I’m talking a gut-wrenching, screaming, writhing kind of dislike. Right, Seth. Okay, you may have a point there, but I was thinking more along the lines of ads. They’re annoying, they’re obtrusive, they’re for things we really don’t need. Try and tell that to an advertiser, though. For that matter, try and tell that to Twitter since that’s the latest site to stick them in front of our faces.
Yes, instead of doing things the old-fashioned way and trying to generate genuine interest from folks who might like your brand and follow your Twitter account, companies have decided to take the easy way out and pay for an advertisement that, given the right search criteria that you type in, will come up at the top of your results. Honestly, does this excite you the way it excites these companies? Is it going to get you to try their coffee, buy their brand of clothing or shop in their store for items you wouldn’t have given a second thought about?
These promoted tweets are already being labeled by some as no better than e-mail SPAM and I’m prone to agree. Are they even necessary when social media has allowed businesses to create pages or accounts, gain a following and interact with their fans? What’s worse is that older promoted tweets will be hanging around the top of your screen, too. Oh, joy. Oh, rapture. See enough of them and you’re liable to start avoiding those companies altogether…or mentioning them in a poor light in blog posts or your own tweets.
Twitter already tried this with the iPhone and their Quick Bar, shortly thereafter dubbed the Dick Bar in humorous-yet-biting honor of COO Dick Costolo and his grandiose plans to raise the company’s profit margin. Users hated it, told Twitter exactly what they thought about the promoted trends and it was eventually removed. If you’d like one person’s view of why they found it offensive, you might check out Why the Quick Bar is still so offensive.
What is it about ads ads ads these days? Where’s the innovation? Where’s the unobtrusiveness? Where’s the real progress being made that doesn’t drown or choke us? I can’t help but wonder what an ad-free internet would look like…