The Great Social Media Debate : Twitter Monetization. Is it Ethical?

Seeing the huge success of the previous social media debate on scheduling tweets, I have decided to make it a regular feature. These posts will act as forums to discuss issues that concern us and that are very part of our social media.

One such issue is Twitter Monetization (Making Money via Twitter). Let’s start with a little story:

Twitter started as a medium to communicate with friends. Soon, it became popular among web enthusiasts and bloggers. People started sharing links they liked and soon twitter became a really powerful blog marketing tool. Bloggers used it to gather traffic and to get more retweets.

Seeing the potential in twitter, people started thinking about monetizing twitter (after all advertisers are looking for easy traffic).

The first one to start it was magpie. It payed twitter users on the basis of the number of sales made or number of clicks made on a specific link. This monetization scheme received a very good response from people who were interested in making an extra buck while doing the thing they love. A number of such monetization schemes started as a result of the great response they got from the users. To name a few:

  • Sponsoredtweets – It is the leading in this field and is used by many celebrities.
  • Ad.ly – Another Popular sponsored tweets program.
  • MyLikes – It is basically a sponsored likes program, where you can monetize your tweets as well as posts by sharing your likes.

Now, as you’ve got a basic picture about twitter monetization. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of twitter monetization.

Making Money via Twitter is the Way to Go

  • It is the easiest way to make money online. Even a blog takes 1-2 months to start earning and requires a lot of hard work. But here, you just need to type the 140 chars and viola! you are minting money.
  • Huge Earning Potential –  Sponsored Tweets can fetch you huge amounts of cash in a little span of time. John Chow makes thousand of dollars via sponsored tweets.

Tweeting for Money is Unethical!

  • Spamming – As people have a greedy nature. They will be willing to tweet anything for money, even if it’s irrelevant or obscene. This will lead to excessive spamming in twitter stream and it will defeat the whole point of using twitter.
  • Shift of Focus – As people will treat twitter as a money making medium, their focus will be only on making money and not on sharing useful content.

People who are for twitter monetization say that twitter monetization will not lead to spamming, if the  twitter users make sure that only the best tweets gets published (even if it is a sponsored one).

I have presented to you both sides of the coin. What is your take on twitter monetization? Is it ethical or is counted as bad twitter manners?

Have you made any money through twitter? Share your experiences here.

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  • I certainly don’t mind people trying to make money on Twitter. If they post too many sponsored tweets, I’ll just unfollow them if it annoys me.

    Personally, I post sponsored tweets too. I made around $27 on Twitter in March (more details in my ‘March income report’) and MyLikes only allows you to post an #ad every 24 hours, so the greedy part will automatically decrease to max one ad per 24 hours (unless you subscribe to multiple make-money-on-twitter sites).
    .-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Review: Sony MDR-NC300D Noise Canceling Earbuds =-.

    • Ya I saw your income report and you earned a decent amount through it and I think the only part is greed and this can be curtailed by using a limit as done by mylikes.

  • just like anything in life…it is all about moderation. I make money via Twitter and I am fine with everyone doing it as well. I only have a problem when it becomes to0 much noise.
    .-= Tycoon Blogger´s last blog ..Blogging Jobs – 7 ways to find one =-.

    • The noise level caan be curtailed, but does that mean removing these programs? I think that will not solve the matter because there a lot of people that just send links which are affiliate ones and they could prove to be a bigger noise than these sponsored tweets

  • Off course it is not unethical to make money with your tweets. But if that is your best idea to make money, I gotta tell ya, you wont make lots of money at all.

    In my mind, ppl who want to have followers that follow a stream of advertisement have a far greater problem than greed. They must be sad.
    .-= Christopher´s last blog ..Wie Facebook plant, deine Daten zu veröffentlichen =-.

    • yes, problem is that over monetization can take it’s toll and you will surely lose on your reputation.
      There are other problems as well. The ads are not relevant so they might not earn you anything but lose you a lot.

  • I believe that it’s ok to use Twitter to make money. If we start opposing advertisements on Twitter we’d have to take them off our blogs too. But that’s an entirely different kettle of fish!

    If you have the influence over your followers to tweet about a product that they would find useful then you should most defnitely advertise it, especially if it’s a good product that you support or would use. However, if you’re only in it for the money and you’re telling us about useless crap, you need to get deleted!

    • See make money from twitter is a great proposition, but it would be good if these sponsored tweets show in your twitter homepage than twitter stream. This way it will resemble the ads in blogs.

      And it is like affiliate ads, you have to keep it relevant.
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..8 Twitter Mistakes that can Destroy your Twitter Reputation =-.

  • The essentials is we must can select and determine correct sponsor.

  • I think using Twitter to make money / advertise is an inevitable shift. I never used Twitter and I only found out about it when people started using it for social media networking and to drive traffic to their websites. That turned me off from Twitter completely. It’s just a money making tool now.,

    • i prefer it as a blog promotion tool and to gather new readers. Which eventually makes me money.

      So indirectly it can be a money making tool, but if you have to control yourself to prevent spamming.
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..Additional SEO Tips to Gain More Organic Traffic =-.

  • I’ve used Magpie, SponsoredTweets and MyLikes with my Twitter accounts and don’t over use them, but followers have two choices, follow or unfollow and I am grateful to my loyal Twitter followers that stick by my Twitter and this is the one reason I try not to over use these types of systems..
    .-= Karen @ Blazing Minds´s last blog ..How To Unfollow Twitters with No Picture on Twitter The Easy Way =-.

    • Yes, followers are forgiving and if you are in control, they don’t unfollow you. I am always grateful to my followers and we all should be 🙂
      .-= Gautam´s last blog ..Guest Blogging Contest =-.

  • It’s okay to earn money while Twittering but just don’t over do it.
    .-= @LXLEE´s last blog ..LXLEE: Share iPhone Apps Easily with AppSnap: http://bit.ly/9zBSkX RT @MAS_is_more =-.

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  • Great article, Gautam! Nice argumentation. I don’t think it is unethical at all. In my opinion, if your monetization strategy is detrimental to the quality of your stream, it will be reflected in your following numbers and other statistics, which in turn will affect the profitability of your operation. The market is self adjusting. There is plenty of incentive to offer a good content mix.
    .-= @mlomb´s last blog ..mlomb: Everyone has photographic memory; some just don’t have the film. #quote =-.

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