Twitter Opens Gate to Ads

Twitter is officially out of the no-ads zone. Beginning Tuesday, searches on Twitter may be accompanied by advertisements from selected companies, including Starbucks, whose tax-day promo is getting heavy retweets. The first batch of “promoted tweets” will include ads from Sony Pictures, Virigin America, and Best Buy Co.

The “promoted tweets” launch is Twitter’s first foray into the world of advertising, although some of its millions of users have been using the site as a promotional platform for various products. Whether Twitter would come to rely on ads for a large chunk of its profits remains to be seen, although a Google-like Twitter is not farfetched considering that the microblogging site’s top honchos worked at one time or another for the search engine giant.

Right now, though, users will not see the ads on the side of Twitter search results. Instead, the “promoted tweets” will come out as normal search results except that these will be labeled as promotions.