TwittAd Tries To Make Money With Twitter

It was bound to happen sooner or later. With Twitter growing like a weed, someone was going to come along and try to make money off it. That someone is TwittAd and what they came up with is unique but as an advertiser, I don’t see any value in it.

TwittAd puts ads in the profile pages of Twitter users. However, the ad are just a background image and is not clickable. Basically, TwittAd would change my John Chow Cola background into a whatever the advertiser wants to display.

Pricing is set the by the Twitter profile owner. It would seem logical that the more followers you have, the higher a price you can command. However, many (if not most) Twitter users use a third party application like Twhirl to follow other users. I can’t recall the last time I checked someone’s Twitter profile page.

Because the ad isn’t clickable, there’s no way to measure the return on investment. Ad prices range from $1 for 7 days to $50 for 3 months. That’s cheap enough but without any means to measure the results, I can’t see many buyers. I know I wouldn’t buy a TwittAd.

What do you think about TwittAd? The next big thing or a complete waste of time?

60 thoughts on “TwittAd Tries To Make Money With Twitter”

  1. I haven’t used Twitter, but it seems like if there is an opportunity for someone to make money, they will try it.

    1. It’s going to suck. I doubt that they’re going to make money from this.

      1. I think Twit Ads will follow the fate of their in-laws the newspaper ads. These are not clickable either, and have a low conversion rate.

        1. Abdul says:

          No way, Newspaper ads are way more effective, you have no idea about the reach of even the worst newspaper/Magazine . I can’t believe this Twitter thing is still running, what a waste of time, I’d rather spend $50 advertising my blog some where worth the money rather than making my blog a background wallpaper for some lousy twitter profile. That’s so Lame!

          1. Albert says:

            Just how good are newspaper ads? I can’t see anybody reading an ad for a website on the train, and then saying oh when I go home, I’m going to go on this, because he’ll probably forget.

  2. lankapo says:

    hi John,
    thanks for the info.I already join it, but I think it will go nowhere because nobody interested with your twitter background. People just want to read your text message rite “)

    1. Maybe twitter is as evil as John Chow and they are creating “buzz” by making those non-clickable ads. Actually they will introduce clickable ads soon after I am sure..

  3. Despite what some may think, that kind of advertising has been around for a long time. I’ve sold these kind of ads on one of my sites. I will say that it really works best for celebrity-related sites.

    1. This is interesting. I wonder why it would work really good on celebrity sites. I think it really would work if you take in an advertisement on someone that has a lot of followers. There are a lot of people that continue to follow those people all the time. I’m sure people like Kevin Rose could get quite a bit of money for an advertisement on his background. However, most these people with a lot of followers are making enough money where they do not care to sell ad space on their background. So really it would be hard to get very much traffic from something like this.

      1. I was going to say the same. the type of advertising isn’t a waste of time but I don’t see how you could put it anywhere worthwhile for those prices.

      2. An example would be putting up a background banner of a hot new TV show that has the time/day it’s coming on. The same could go for a movie.

        You can’t do a whole lot with the ad, but like you said, you need to have followers. Some are bound to take a good look at the ads & decide as to whether they want to check the movie/show out. It also helps if you’re big because big entertainment-related companies will be willing to advertise on your site.

  4. Jon Kepler says:

    Any chance that it’s the next big thing AND a complete waste of time? Some may say that describes Twitter, too.

    In all seriousness though, I think it’s an okay first attempt. I’m glad it got TechCrunch coverage, but I think someone’s going to come out with something better soon.

    1. John Chow says:

      They got covered by TechCrunch? I don’t recall seeing it. I got this emailed to me by a reader.

  5. Peter Morrow says:

    They get an E for effort but other than that, this is going to go nowhere. Oh well, they might make a dollar or two.

  6. Seems like a waste of time, at least for blogs. It makes more sense for big brands I think (kind of like Coca-Cola ads on the side of sports fields) considering it’s unclickable.

    1. That’s pretty much what these kind of ads are geared to. I don’t think anyone should be expecting a Joe Blow type of ad in the background which is why I don’t think TwittAd will work. Like I said above, it works better for celebrity-related sites only.

  7. SmallBizBee says:

    No metrics, no value. Sorry but that’s the way it works…I want to know exactly what my ad money is getting.

    1. Scot says:

      Way to go! 🙂 Exactly my point.

  8. WordVixen says:

    I also don’t see it being valuable to advertisers, but as a twit I think it’s great. After all, what else is your profile background doing for you? (Though I could see custom backgrounds made for yourself including more info than the bio does)

    The value of the space isn’t in how many followers you have, and I think that’s the problem with how people are pricing their space. People check profiles when deciding whether or not to follow someone. I think matching the ad to the keywords in the bios would be more beneficial than simply looking to see how many followers a person has. After all, someone searching for affiliate marketers to follow might just be interested in a Pepperjam background on marketing tweeps profiles.

  9. WordVixen says:

    Please forgive me if this is a duplicate- my original comment seems to have been eaten.

    I don’t see a real value in it for most advertisers, but as a twit I think it’s great. After all, what else is your profile background doing for you? (Though, I could see it being useful to build a background for yourself that has more info than the bio holds)

    Mostly people look at profiles when deciding who to follow, so I think if an advertiser were to get use out of that kind of advertising, they’d be looking at the keywords in tweeps’ bios. Someone searching for affiliate marketers to follow might be interested in seeing a Pepperjam profile background and such. But for that you could totally bypass Twittads and just contact tweeps who would be a good fit.

    I did sign up though, since I still use the default background.

  10. i love twitter! kudos to you john! 😎

  11. Alen says:

    Nice info. Now I think Twitter will grow even more.

    1. Scot says:

      I don’t think this is going to affect the rate of growth at all.

  12. SEO Genius says:

    Interesting i don’t think it will work but i am sure someone will take the idea change it a little and make millions from Twitter.

  13. Alex M. says:

    I have this a week ago, don`t remember if it was TechCrunch. This would be a great way to promote yourself but if you were the Coca-Cola, not some guy trying to convert some bucks from referrals.

  14. Call me a lazy git, but doesn’t this seem a little complicated. I’ve experimented with Facebook’s advertising program and once the ad is made that’s it. You just have to remember to cancel your campaign when you’ve finsished. I think in the futureTwittAd are going to have to make their effort a little less time consuming for the users. 🙁

  15. Koi Games says:

    It won’t work because they will quickly realize they are wasting a ton of revenue.

  16. Too iffy in my book, I would never buy one, but I would probably put one up on my page. What can it hurt?

  17. I agree with you 100%. They seem kind of pointless. It would be different if you could click the ad.

  18. Looks like a waste of time fully.

  19. 100kjob says:

    I guess it is targeting the big boys with excessive $s for brand building instead of instant ROI.

  20. GBGames says:

    For all the reasons you stated, it is likely to fail.

    But then, so should a lot of ventures that surprised everyone and took off. Remember, many of us aren’t that typical. I recently heard that only 1/3 of computer users use shortcut keys, which surprised me since I thought most people did. Maybe LOTS of people actually read tweets by going to their friends’ profile pages, and so maybe ad impressions will work.

    But until someone tries it, we won’t know. We can speculate about the success of it, but good on TwittAd for making the attempt. Worst case is that it doesn’t work, TwittAd learns from it, and the founders move on.

  21. Nebraska SEO says:

    Good try, but I don’t think this is going to be the next big thing.

    Everybody is going to have to wait for Twitter to monetize and allow people to pay up for premium accounts where they can serve their own ads as part of their Twitter stream.

  22. Stupid idea, the only way to track would be to have a different link like or something

  23. Don Draper says:

    Twitter can’t make money on Twitter, so making money from them is going to be rather tough.

    It would be a better value to sell the link in your profile. Lots of people are using Twitter to drive readers to an offer page in their profile.

  24. John,

    Thanks for the write up on To follow up on some of the comments from your readers.

    We realize that the backgrounds are not clickable, but what is to stop Twitter from making the backgrounds in HTML? We just launched this site on August 26th, with a lot of press from Mashable and TechCrunch on the Sept. 2nd-3rd. In 5 days we have almost 600 Twitter users signed up from all over the world and close to 50 advertisers on board. So the Twitter community is open to this type of advertising.

    It is my belief that Twitter will begin to roll out a new version of their web-based service within the next few months. They have their VC money, they have bought Summize and they all but stopped the fail whale. With almost 3 million users worldwide, they need to improve the web based portion of Twitter so users spend more time on the site. Allowing Twitter users to add applications to their profile pages, while not going completly into a social network will drive traffic to individual pages on Twitter. This will drive up the value of advertising (or sponsoring) a Twitter user and will make Twittad a valuable piece of the Twitter experience by sharing revenue with its users.

    We are working very hard on improving the current This includes many updates to the user experience and we are in the initial stages of working with is opening up their API for Twittad to grab their categories for specific Twitter users. This will enable advertisers to target Twitter users based on demographics and interests of the Twitter user.

    James Eliason

    1. Nebraska SEO says:

      While I’m impressed that the President/CEO came on to flack for his product, I’m still skeptical.

  25. Gaming says:

    Nice articel boss, thanks for your information

  26. Shaun Carter says:

    Well it looks like there are people actually paying to advertise via this service as shown on the twittad homepage. Highest one sold on there says $14 for 7 days. $2 of extra profit a day isn’t bad for not doing anything extra to earn it!

  27. Scot says:

    It’s not a half-bad idea, but I guess the inventors forgot advertising is all about Return On Investment, and if you can’t show a good ROI there is no use in buying advertising.

    Unique idea though, and those creating unique ideas will continue until they strike gold. So kudos to them.

  28. ZK says:

    Its an interesting concept , Twitter will benifit in the long run

  29. It’s funny how everyone thinks this program will fail. What if they don’t?

  30. There are alot of people that still do go to twitter itself to read other’s twitters, but unless twitads does something to make these ads clickable, I don’t see it going anywhere.

    This may be just a stepping stone to something new and cutting edge. Kind of like Google does.

    We’ll see all in good time I’m sure.

  31. VeRonda says:

    It is so important to get relevant information for blogs and the community. Thanks for sharing…

  32. Juan Burton says:

    Chow! Try using as a cool tool to get an ideal of another websites traffic. I always use this before purchasing any advertising from any website.
    281 visits per day

    For example :
    43,046 visits per day

    But other then that, you are probably right about is probably BS, i woudnt be interested either in ads 😉

  33. Cute logo. Dumb idea. 😀

  34. CoolProducts says:

    Twitter = Life. I would never put ads on my twitter profile. I agree with John; I don’t think many people even look at your Twitter profile anymore. It’s crazy that you can’t even click on the ads. Do you expect me to actually type in a URL?

  35. TwittAd?
    Doesn’t seem like it’s going to take off – anyone using it?

  36. I was wondering when that would happen

  37. titan says:

    i believe not many people like this. But its another chance for make money. Hoho, but i agree. its seems like a waste.. 😈

  38. Ryan says:

    I’d have to agree with everyone else. Without any way to measure return on investment, there is no incentive for advertisers to spend money on the advertisement. How do they even know that they are reaching their target audience, or any audience at all? I personally wouldn’t want to pay to post an advertisement in the middle of cyberspace without any guarantee of people looking at it.

  39. Updated blog post on how advertisers can build their ads & some exciting news about

    James Eliason
    President/CEO Twittad

    1. titan says:

      why you not use your own domain and prefer to use blogspot?

  40. Jake says:

    There is not too reliable way to measure the effect of print and tv commercials either. Might work if Twitter just had traction among its users. I’d say that any monetization effort will work better on Plurk than on Twitter.

  41. John,
    How much does Myspace make from selling their background? i see advertisments on their home-page background nearly every time i go to log-in =]

    But i havnt been on since i first created an account! i use twirl!

    Also, you have to manualy change it every time theirs a new advertiser, why dont they just make it a non-static image?

    1. This makes me think of Godin’s permission marketing. I think that most people see the backgrounds on myspace as just something there to look at or nate that they are even there. Unless there is some penchant from it. Advertising seems to have to be focused and fall within a niche. It takes too much time, money, and effort to throw advertising to the masses and hope that someone bites. If you are going fishing its easir to know what you are fishing for rather than hoping for the best and hooking a boot.

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