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Twitter, the site that has changed the way the world thinks, talks and networks, is just over five years old and already it has spawned the next novel marketing tool! The twitterverse is set to change the way brands market themselves. Whether it is promoted content on the list of trending topics, or posts from celebrity brand ambassadors, this is the breakthrough new medium that companies are using to spread the word and get people talking about their brands.
But while some have welcomed this as the next big thing in the world of advertising, others argue that this could completely ruin the social networking site. Director and ad film-maker R. Balki feels that the sheer enormity of the site's reach will make it a success. "Everything works in one way or the other," he says, "there are a lot of people on Twitter, so, naturally, every company is going to eye this large, virtually captive audience."
Alyque Padamsee also attributes the advertisers' moves on Twitter to the availability of a vast audience. Somewhat unsure of whether the site will be an effective medium for advertising, he does see a rising trend favouring it. "It is too early to judge if it will work. It's just starting off as a trend but if it catches on, it gives you an enormous pool of people to cater to. I don't know how much the stars are charging, but if you have Amitabh Bachchan or Priyanka Chopra tweeting about your product, then you have all their followers reading about it and that's a lot of people," he says.
It is common knowledge in the ad world that advertisers will use any and every medium of propagation available to them, and it's no different when it comes to twitter. This online platform where word spreads like wildfire is a messaging goldmine just waiting to be exploited.
However, there are also those who beg to differ. Prahlad Kakkar feels that bringing ads to twitter could only mean the "death of Twitter". "Twitter is a social contact channel for people to interact and network. But the moment you embed advertisements and endorsements in it, it loses its spontaneity and freshness. It's like reading a book and being completely engrossed in it and then being interrupted by having some satellite communication sprung on you it's an unpleasant surprise," he says. The veteran ad-man goes on to say that Twitter was not envisioned and designed to accommodate advertisements and, hence, branding on the micro-blogging site would be a sure-shot way to kill its spirit. "It won't work; people will start resenting it and get on other rival sites that have not yet been commercialised," he warns.
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