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Twitter has just announced its much rumoured advertising plans to start generating money. Called Promoted Tweets, the paid for tweets will appear at the top of search results for now, but the start up has more ambitious plans in the pipeline too, including adverts in Twitter clients.

In a post today on the official Twitter blog, co-founder Biz Stone announced plans for a Promoted Tweets scheme, where partners will have a relevant tweet appear at the top of relevant search results. While Stone doesn’t say exactly when we’ll see it begin rolling out, he does confirm the first partners include Best Buy, Red Bull, Starbucks and Sony Pictures, so if you see flagged up messages from them soon, you’ll know why.

Twitter is naturally keen to make its plans sound more friendly to its users, and insists that while these tweets will be visible to you even if you’re not following the feed of the partner, they are simply tweets still rather than banner ads, and they must show organic activity (Users must retweet them and click through links or they won’t be shown again), so partners will have to make them interesting.

Twitter buys Tweetie

Stone says this is the first phase of Twitter’s advertising scheme, and that if it proves successful, updates will allow Twitter clients, third party apps such as TweetDeck which many people use to access their stream, to show Promoted Tweets, and it will also look to add them to your timeline, not just search results on

Of course, we’re yet to see any advertising we really enjoy just about anywhere (Though Apple’s iAd for iPhone could change that), so we’ll hold judgment on just how relevant they’ll be until we see them. But Twitter can’t live off seed funding for ever, so we hope it works, for Twitter users and bean counters alike.

Out TBC | £TBC | Twitter

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