Microblogging-Ad-Time: Magpie sells tweet attention

mplogoAs social media services grow, they become more and more interesting for advertisers. Magpie, a brand-new “twitter advertising network” (and in no way affiliated with the RSS-parser library bearing the same name) is offering tweepers money to embed spam ads in their timeline. This sure was unavoidable, but at first glance, the European-based network is doing a pretty nice job.

Since I'm an online entrepreneur, I'm naturally very interested in new ways of monetizing my social media activities – but I would never recommend any service which I'm not a fan of, which ultimately leads to the one requirement that any ad network *must* take serious: I want control over the messages I'm sending out – whether to my followers on twitter or as banners on my blog. And Magpie takes this factor into consideration: every paid tweet can be pre-approved before it is sent out.

Psychologically, Magpie is doing quite a great job: new twitterers are encouraged to enter their username, based on which Magpie displays the amount which “could be earned” – I guess that this is a pretty rough and very optimistic approximation, since the systems tells me that I could make nearly 2.000 Euros a month. The tutorial video explains how the exchange of attentions actually works:

And how does it *really* work?

The sign-up process is really simple – advertisers need to apply for a dedicated log-in, twitterers have to deal with the ol' trust problem: Magpie requires them to enter their passwords; I hope that an authentication-token is on twitter's top priority list.

  1. You define a tweet frequency at which you will accept magpie-tweets for your Twitter account. Given your current tweet rate permits it, our service will try to find a matching magpie-tweet and twitter it. For maximum control, you'll be asked to pre-approve magpie-tweets.
  2. To help your followers recognize magpie-tweets, you can define a custom disclaimer which we'll happily append or prepend to all your magpie-tweets.
  3. Depending on the compensation model of each successfully delivered magpie-tweet you will be rewarded in cash.

That's pretty much all there is – and since the publisher's terms and conditions do not require you sell your soul to any kind of devil, I became curious and signed up, as it is possible to pause one's account at any time. I'm really curious if Magpie will be able to turn tweets into bling-bling or if users will rejects ads at all. This is what the dashboard looks like:

mpdash

You have to be aware though that Magpie is discussed quite controversially: While Marshall Kirkpatrick senses dark-side qualities and Dave Fleet feels abused, Studio Rizzn explains the truth about “evil Apple”.

What about the earnings?

Magpie is using PayPal, you have to earn at least 50 bucks to qualify for your first virtual paycheck. Besides from intercultural gaps (European users tend to be a lot pickier about commercial tweets and US citizens), I guess that Magpie's success will largely depend on the advertiser pool: if they offer enough interesting contents and manage to successfully pitch their system to the right advertisers, this could be huge. I'll try Magpie for the next two weeks and keep you updated, or you might want to start your own experiment: Sign up for Magpie

8 replies
  1. lukasgaertner
    lukasgaertner says:

    I dont want to be spammed myself, so I also dont allow such services to use my accounts. Personally if I get spammed by someone I follow, I quit the relationship. There is already a too high stream of information to me, that I would allow also boring advertising to come the way.

    Reply
  2. @ungerik
    @ungerik says:

    Very, very bad idea for everyone who sees value in his social media communication. Even if I were a fan of a product, I would never let a company spam tweets on my behalf.

    If that takes off, it will reduce the quality of the whole twitter communication.

    Follow me: http://twitter.com/ungerik

    Reply
  3. wolfgang gumpelmaier
    wolfgang gumpelmaier says:

    seems to be a nice way to monetize social media activities, but as ungerik mentioned, it depends on your tweeting purpose. if you aim to gain credibility i think it’s a risky thing to use magpie. but once people get used to ads in twitter it might work well. depending on the amount of control the user has in the magpie-interface.

    Reply

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