Feather-Ruffler? Twitter Bans All Ad Platforms Besides Promoted Tweets

Back when Twitter announced its own Promoted Tweets plan, COO Dick Costolo hinted it would “prohibit” third-party alternatives. Now it’s making good on the promise…

In the second recent threat to Twitter’s developer-friendly reputation, Costolo announces in a blog post that: “Aside from Promoted Tweets, we will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API.”

Costolo’s wordy, big-picture argument about “enduring value” says “third party ad networks are not necessarily looking to preserve the unique user experience Twitter has created” and “the basis for building a lasting advertising network that benefits users should be innovation, not near-term monetization”.

This boils down to: Twitter thinks it’s got a better way of advertising than those who use its infrastructure, it wants to safeguard users’ experience on that infrastructure and, if it can push Promoted Tweets instead of other methods, there’s a massive pay-day at the end of some future rainbow.

Several third parties had beaten Twitter to making a nascent ad platform out of the micromessaging service – among them, Magpie, Ad.ly and Tweetup, which Bill Gross started recently having raised £2.44 (£2.44 ()) million VC for the effort.

The question now – will the third parties (assuming they’re not totally pissed off with Twitter) get to transfer their ad system to Promoted Tweets? That could be a win-win for both sides.

Sawhorse Media’s founder Greg Galant, whose company made MuckRack, says: “We’re not concerned about it. It highlights the need for creatively working companies into the social media conversation, over easy fixes.”

But it’s not that Twitter isn’t expecting some discontent. “We understand that for a few of these companies, the new Terms of Service prohibit activities in which they