I think this is at the level where Dick needs to post a clarification
on the Twitter blog.

Everyone in the media, and there are tons of articles everywhere, have
interpreted this policy change to mean the death of Ad.ly,
SponsoredTweets.com, etc.

The policy is very poorly worded because it is not clear on the exact
scope of the ban.

The way I understand it now is:

1) Publishing via the web interface or via the API, by the user or by
a third-party service authorized by the user, of paid or sponsored
tweets are allowed provided that the tweet text contains a clear and
unambiguous identification that it is a paid tweet. These paid tweets
form part of the normal tweet stream and are not affected or
prohibited by 2).

2) When reading tweets from the API (REST, Search or Streaming) and
displaying the tweets in any list, the insertion of any additional
paid or unpaid advertising or promotional content in between the
tweets are not allowed, when such insertion can reasonably interpreted
as being part of the tweets that are displayed in the list.

3) Advertising around displayed tweets are allowed, but revenue from
such advertising must be shared with Twitter.

Is that reasonably accurate?

On May 25, 2:28 am, Ryan Sarver <rsar...@twitter.com> wrote:
> I want to make sure this part is clear -- this policy change isn't meant to
> say that we are going to start policing if the content of something a user
> tweets is an ad or not. The policy change affects 3rd party services that
> were putting ads in the middle of a timeline.
> So if Liz is paid by Reebok to tweet about how much she loves their new
> shoes, we are not going to be policing that any more than we were on Friday.
> This policy also *does not prohibit* services like Ad.ly that help
> facilitate those relationships or even help her post the ads to her timeline
> on her behalf.
> It *does prohibit* an application from calling out to a service to find an
> ad to serve to Liz that will get inserted into the timeline she is viewing.
> The language is somewhat nuanced but it sounds like we might need to make
> the policy more explicit as a number of people are misinterpreting it.
> Let me know if you have more questions.
> Ryan
> On Mon, May 24, 2010 at 12:26 PM, Dewald Pretorius <dpr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Liz,
> > You are 100% correct in summarizing the problem. Not only were those
> > businesses built with the full knowledge of Twitter, Twitter even had
> > specific rules governing sponsored tweets (had to be clearly marked as
> > sponsored, etc.).
> > I'm really baffled by this decision of Twitter, because I don't
> > understand how they expect to have integrity and trust with developers
> > while doing this type of stuff.
> > Right now we are all being pointed to Annotations as the holy grail of
> > new development. But how do we know that they won't yet again change a
> > rule in the future that will kill businesses that were built on top of
> > Annotations?
> > On May 24, 3:56 pm, Liz <nwjersey...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Peter, I think the problem is that business have been created,
> > > received funding and developed over the past year, with the full
> > > knowledge of Twitter, and this just undercuts & destroys them.
> > > I think people can understand the rationale (and the desire for
> > > Twitter to eliminate competition) but this is a policy decision that
> > > should have been made over a year ago. Twitter should have included
> > > this in an earlier terms of service instead of giving an implicit
> > > "okay" to services like Sponsored Tweets which has turned into a
> > > successful company.
> > > It also seems disingenuous that the blog post says that a "guiding
> > > principle" of Twitter is that "We don't seek to control what users
> > > tweet. And users own their own tweets." and allow adult-oriented
> > > content and photos but for some reason, users can't Tweet ads. That
> > > sounds like control of content to me.
> > > Liz

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