Watching Your Every Tweet!

Twitter Sparq

Many people wonder who is interested in reading tweets about what people had for breakfast. Well, here’s one answer: cereal makers like Kellogg’s and Quaker Oats.

Advertisers are starting to target ads to you based on what you say on Twitter. And if you tweet something nice about a product, you might even see your blurb in bold type on an ad, just like a Jeffrey Lyons movie review. So says Seth Goldstein, the chief executive of SocialMedia, a company that has created advertising formats for Facebook, MySpace, and now Twitter.

Of course, Twitter itself doesn’t put ads on its Web site and doesn’t include ads in the streams of tweets from users. But SocialMedia has found other ways to help advertisers bind their messages to Twitter users. One, called Twitter Sparq, places ads on some Twitter applications, including PowerTwitter (a Firefox plugin) and TwitterFon (an iPhone application).

Twitter Sparq is designed to be an automated auction of text ads, much like Google’s AdWords. But while ads on Google relate to what you are searching for, Twitter Sparq ads are shown to people based on “the list of historical keywords that the user has tweeted in the past,” the company’s site explains.

Is that an invasion of your privacy? It’s not like advertisers are sneaking around watching where you surf without telling you. They are listening to what you have chosen to shout to the whole world.

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