Posts Tagged ‘online advertising


Magpie / Twitter ad strategy isn’t the same as a blog ad strategy

After recently following Jeremiah Owyang ( on twitter, I came across his tweets about Magpie (inserts ads into your Twitter updates as though they were actually your tweets) being similar to having advertising on blogs. Before I go any further, I need to make it clear I have great, great respect for Jeremiah (I religiously read his blog –, HOWEVER I just happen to disagree with him on this point.

Anyway, Jeremiah cited the fact that TechCrunch puts ads in it’s RSS feeds whilst retaining 1.4million subscribers as proof Magpie can work (, so I thought I’d stop twittering and break out a blog post to discuss further (there’s only so much you can discuss in 140 characters). My stance – having ads inserted in your twitter feeds is ALOT different to having ads on your blogs or RSS feeds. I’m not saying that having ads inserted in your twitter feeds will not happen, or that Magpie will not be successful in varying degrees. I think Jeremiah is spot on when he tweets “Marketers always follow crowds”. Marketers want a piece of Twitter, no doubt, and if Twitterers can make a buck out of it too, I’m sure there will be plenty of adapters.

However, what Magpie does is insert an ad as a twitter update (one ad tweet for every 5 normal tweets), which I think will bug the heck out of followers. We already know how annoying people find disruptive advertising on social network sites, so Magpie is definitely not the optimal way to advertise on Twitter, or indeed any social media, as it is completely disruptive. I don’t have the answer for effective advertising on Twitter, but if I follow someone and their every 6th tweet is an ad, their updates better be damn good to avoid me un-following you. There is enough noise on Twitter as it is, what with people keeping me updated that they are going to the gym or just back from the gym or haven’t been to the gym in 4 weeks, without more noise in the form of ads in my feed.

To further pursue Jeremiah’s point about TechCrunch’s  ads in their RSS feed, the RSS equivalent of Magpie is that you would have an entire blog / RSS update devoted to an ad. This would happen every 6th RSS update. It would be annoying. It would not fly. The ads in TechCrunch feeds are embedded within the post itself, so are much less disruptive (See pic below…) Google adSense for RSS Feeds does a similar thing.

snip_techcrunch_ad Example of an ad in TechCrunch RSS feed – not as intrusive.

Magpie is a cute service, don’t get me wrong. People are already adopting it – I’m sure others will follow suit. However, it is going to be annoying, and it is not the same as having ads on your blog, which by and large are now less intrusive. Jeremiah may well be correct in saying we’ll get used to ads in our twitter feeds – but until we start to see more people adopting Magpie and maybe some Forrester research into the effects (:D) I guess it’s all theoretical really.

Q: To anyone out there using Magpie, or who have anyone in their Followed list who uses it, what feedback do you have? Please comment below…


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