Would you like to make some money by prostituting yourself and shoving spam into a service that has delighted millions? Then Sponsored Tweets is for you.
This new service hooks up advertisers with tweeters willing to hold ersatz conversations to shill products, tweets known as twam.
Perhaps this is a bit harsh; after all, the service does claim that it "programmatically requires disclosure" of the tweeter's relationship with the advertiser, and that it has "zero tolerance for violations" of its ethics. However, I'm not sold on the 'disclosure' required, as little as a '#ad' tucked onto the end of a Web link. But at least it has an ethics code, unlike other such companies in the trade.
Sponsored Tweets, by IZEA, is entering a playground with a bad reputation. Companies such as Magpie.com recruit Twitters to converse for cash without any attempt at transparency. IMHO, this is the moral equivalent of throwing up billboards on the Skyline Drive to spoil the public experience, without paying for the privilege.
Even worse, the people who created Twitter provide the platform for free, yet get no taste of the ad income derived by these pirates. And if you think you're safe from twam by controlling who you follow, you're in for a surprise.
Like the scum who pump out e-mail spam (which constitutes 92% of all e-mail messages), tweetvertising is more than annoying; it's unethical. Even when identified as a paid ad, it intrudes where it is not wanted and provides no return value to the person being twammed. I'd only follow them if they were headed to bankruptcy court.