Twitter, the microblogging site, said that it would soon begin tweeting special, time-bound deals and offers from advertisers to its users.
The program, called “@earlybird,” would allow “select” advertisers to offer exclusive, short term deals on Twitter, potentially putting the social media site in competition with group deal sites like Groupon and CitySmart.
Twitter’s initial @earlybird specials will aim at the U.S. market, and for many reasons—including logistics—will probably focus on either ecommerce offers or offers from national chains.
“Our advertising partners determine the terms of the offer, including availability, amount, and price,” the company said on its official @earlybird support page. “As with other forms of advertising from Twitter, we are focused on bringing value to our users and will keep your interests in mind as we develop this program.”
How @earlybird Will Work
To get the @earlybird special offers, Twitter users will need to follow the @earlybird account, just as they follow any other person or company on Twitter.
At least once daily, Twitter will announce an advertisers’ offer, which, in the spirit of the site’s relentless pace, will be time and/or supply bound.
Users will be able to unfollow @earlybird, just like they can unfollow any other account, so Twitter is in no way forcing these deals on users.
More Information to Come
Twitter has also hinted that in the future the @earlybird offers could be associated with specific categories, i.e. music or video games. When or how this option would become available has not been announced. Furthermore, the company has yet to explain how advertisers will be selected or charged, but it is conceivable that the program is a forerunner for more targeted ecommerce promotional opportunities that may similar to the interest and demographic focused ads already available on sites like Facebook.