Advertisers now have a new way of advertising on Twitter. While ad messages — in the form of “promoted tweets” — previously only showed up when someone made a search for a specific term like “Starbucks” on the site, Twitter is now including ad messages in the trending topics that show up on the home page of all of its web users. Right now, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is advertising Toy Story 3 there. Click on “Toy Story 3” and you see a “promoted Tweet” for the movie, as well as other Tweets that reference it.
Twitter says the ads, which it is calling “promoted trends,” are a “global test.” It makes a lot of sense since it not only provides Twitter with a new way of making money but it also gets Twitter users more comfortable with seeing promoted messages, which Twitter has said will eventually show up in their streams. Have to agree with GigaOm‘s Mathew Ingram, though, that by including the “promoted trends” in “trending topics,” it basically means that “trending topics” are trending topics no more.