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Twitter announced through Twitter Blog a new feature called Promoted Tweets which show up at the top of users' feeds designed to generate revenue for Twitter and could alienate users.
We all come to Twitter to connect with the latest information on the topics and people we care about. So when we decide to follow a favorite brand, business or charitable organization, we expect to be among the first to get a special announcement, access to exclusive content or a great offer.
That's why starting today, we're introducing a way to ensure that the most important Tweets from the organizations you follow reach you directly, by placing them at or near the top of your timeline. These Promoted Tweets will scroll through the timeline like any other Tweet, and like regular Tweets, they will appear in your timeline just once. Promoted Tweets can also be easily dismissed from your timeline with a single click.
Twitter is testing out the feature with a "select group of partners" including Best Western, Dell, Gatorade, Groupon, HBO, JetBlue, LivingSocial, Microsoft Xbox, Red Bull, Sephora, Starbucks, Summit Entertainment’s “50/50”, TNT and Virgin America among others — with more to come soon.
The risk is that this strategy will irk users by filling their Twitter feeds with ads and Twitter is likely trying to mitigate a potential backlash by enabling a feature that allows users to get rid of the Promoted Tweets from the timeline with a single click.