Will Twitter insert ads into social feeds?

Twitter is reportedly mulling plans to integrate promoted tweets directly into its feeds. If implemented, you probably won’t have to follow a particular brand or user to see a paid-for, promoted tweet in your feed.

The hotly debated topic has been under discussion mostly because people worry integrating ads directly into a Twitter stream will sully the service and cause backlash.

Currently, Twitter utilizes “promoted tweets,” small advertisements that show up in the form of tweets in search results as well as “promoted trends,” which display at the top of the trend list. Both were launched last year as part of Twitter’s monetization plan.

When promoted tweets and trends kicked off last year, Twitter wrote in a blog post, “We believe there are still significant benefits to increasing awareness of what’s happening outside the home timeline.”

Advertising agencies have been known to approach influencers with strong Twitter followings to send out tweets on behalf of a brand or product.

But even that has been deemed spammy by many users who choose to unfollow celebrities and influencers who engage in such behavior.

This week, Twitter header of revenue Adam Bain is visiting the Cannes Lions advertising expo to tap into potential clientele to help build the new project.

One agency executive familiar with the matter said, “Twitter [is] getting it together, slowly.” The executive went on to say that Twitter’s integration into Apple’s next version of the iPhone represents a “massive coup” for the company.

According to a projection by the Financial Times, Twitter is expected to generate revenues of about $100m this year, compared with Enders Analysis’ forecast of Facebook’s $3.5bn from display advertising alone.

[Via MSNBC & the Financial Times]