While not a Twitter service per say, TweetUp is a 3rd-party developer client of Twitter. Their service believes there is money to be made by charging for keywords in tweets. Similar to Google's Adwords, in theory this would offer users the opportunity to obtain higher rankings for their posts. Similar to Google's algorithm, it also would give tweets a higher ranking, based on popularity and how often those tweets are clicked by members of the Twitterverse. It's the age-old story of 'Paid' versus 'Organic' Search.
Bill GrossAccording to Idealab's Bill Gross, founder of TweetUp, the "goal is to cut through the clutter of thousands of irrelevant posts on topics of interest and give the more relevant ones, greater prominence." He's already signed deals with other Twitter clients such as Seesmic, Twitterfeed and Twidroid to display Tweetup's rankings, according to a New York Times report.
By TweetUp identifying relevant tweets and tweeters based on popularity, engagement, interest and also paid bidding on keywords, they are placing as much weight on a tweet as Google places on news and blog postings. By Gross monetizing tweets, he is asking publishers to pay to reach their targeted audience. And will even give them $100 credit to start the process.
And while search firms like Customer Magnetism in the States and Greenlight Search in the UK believe that an effective search engine optimization campaign requires a combination of both 'paid' and 'organic' search, most agencies give more weight to organic search, because it's being generated by the content itself, its keywords and links.
While most tweets include links to the blogs and news articles that Google, Bing and other search engines rank according to popularity, relevance, and yes Adwords - tweets - in and of themselves don't contain that much content. They amount to either a well-thought-out headline at its best - or "keyword link-bait" at its worst.
To say you are now going to 'pay' for these tweets to attract more page-views is not comparing apples to apples.
140 characters or less is the beauty and simplicity of Twitter. With 15-25 of those characters eaten up by a hyperlink included in the body of that tweet, there really isn't enough space left to monetize. On the contrary, In the case of optimizing a full page of content in a blog or news article, there is much more of an opportunity to optimize hundreds of words, not just a handful.
And then there's the issue of the actual cost. A Gigaom report breaks it down as such:
In a previous post, titled "Top Five 'Tweeting For Dollars' Programs" I reviewed other 'paid' services like Magpie, PayMeTweets and Sponsored Tweets that have launched other 'pay for tweet' models. However, to date, none of them with the possible exception of the 'Sponsored Tweets' service and their collaboration with celebrities have really taken off.
So at the end of the day, TweetUp may drive some traffic and attract some larger brands to its monetization model, but overall, if your tweet doesn't have enough merit, relevancy and popularity on its own, is it really worth paying to promote it? Also, if it is a worthy tweet, and since Twitter now has real-time search deals with both Google and Bing, I think a user can garner a better return on their investment of time by trying to get those tweets ranked organically - then paying either Tweetup, Google or Bing to rank them based on a bidding process. Your thoughts, readers?