Twitter is beginning their foray into in-stream advertising, adding targeted sponsored tweets that are targeted based off brands you follow. For example, if you follow Starbucks (I have no idea why you would, but hey…) you might see the occasional paid ad promoting some sort of Starbucks deal.
TechCrunch has a short but informative post on the matter.
Twitter says that these tweets will still be based on targeting. What they mean is that you should only see them if you follow people or products on Twitter that are related to the Tweet ad they have to show you.
Again, for now, these Tweet ads will only appear to users who are using HootSuite, a client which about a million of Twitter’s 175 million users use. But if this is a success, you can expect this to roll out to other clients shortly. And yes, these ads could appear on Twitter.com one day as well.
It’s interesting that they will be limiting their rollout to HootSuite users for the time being, but I suppose they want to gauge users’ reactions before rolling it out to everyone.