John Herrman for BuzzFeed:
During the Consumer Electronics Show, the Associated Press’s 1.5 million followers will see tweets about Samsung’s new products. Some will be organic — Samsung is one of the largest exhibitors at the show, and the AP has reporters there. But two a day will come directly from Samsung, in the form of ads.
This is the beginning of what I imagine will be an inevitable next battle for Twitter. The key is that Samsung is partnering with the AP on this and Twitter isn’t seeing a dime.
Twitter could easily make this a TOS violation (as they’ve done with automatically injected tweet ads by third-parties), but it’s a very gray area. You could argue that a lot of the content on Twitter is not-so-thinly disguised (and not disclosed) advertising for something.
This could also be an opportunity for Twitter though. Imagine a AdWords-like self-serve way to monetize your Twitter feed. The problem, of course, is not destroying the Twitter experience in the process. Hard problem.
Also no surprise to see the AP, the arbiters of scumbaggery, take the lead here.