Whether we like it or not, ads are everywhere, and before you make any comments or jokes, yes they’re even on our own website which you’re currently reading. Ads have been on webpages since near the beginning of time though, they have only evolved and gotten more personal. Where they have just started to show up in the last few years is in our social feeds, and while this isn’t the first time we’ve seen ads pop up in Twitter, it appears that Twitter has a new way to target users with ads, and that’s through your list of followers with “promoted” accounts, although on Android this only appears in the official Twitter app and not in third party clients like Fenix or Talon.
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This new tactic appears to have been spotted by William Shatner, who has been quite vocal about it on Twitter after having noticed that MasterCard, a promoted account, was popping up in his list of followers even though he hadn’t been following them in the first place. Among many reasons why people find this disconcerting, Shatner states that for him personally it “appears as an endorsement” when in fact it is not, and coming from a public figure we can understand the reasoning behind the lack of appreciation for an advertisement. For the rest of us average joes, this just means we’ll have to deal with seeing MasterCard as well as other promoted accounts in our list of followers from now on, or until Twitter perhaps decides to do away with them.
Since these promoted account ads show up in your list of followers for you to see, that means everybody who follows you can see them also, and you can remove the account from the list but as we’ve stated, this is a new ad campaign by Twitter, so removing Master Card will cause another promoted account to show up. To be completely honest, this isn’t really that bad, although some might find it annoying. In addition to now seeing ads in lists of followers, we’ll still see the ads that pop up in the actual Twitter feeds. Not too long ago Twitter held a conference which talked about some of the new features they would be implementing to give the social network a more robust appeal and experience to users, alongside other tactics for them to gain more revenue, and this was likely just one of their plans on how to execute that. How do you feel about the promoted account ads in your list of followers? Does it bother you, or will you just ignore it like we’ve done?