Twitter's been trying hard to monetise its service, but its insertion of ads has managed to annoy its userbase. The latest buzz on Twitter is the company's somewhat sneaky insertion of Mastercard's account into follow list.
An ad is one thing, but the Twitter ads mimic the interface of Twitter's follower lists to the point where you would easily think that everyone is following Mastercard on Twitter, even Visa. Some of us might have seen the ads and not thought much of them, but celebrity William Shatner was having none of it. He called out the service for making it look as though he was following Mastercard.
Not enough disclosure
But aren't the ads marked? Here lies the problem: even with the 'promoted' tag, the Mastercard follow ads are confusing enough that it can mislead people into thinking someone is following Mastercard when they click on Twiter's follow list.
This is problematic as Twitter users get no say as to who pops up in their follow list. It would be embarassing if, say, a civil rights group had an ad for the Ku Klux Klan pop up. Or accounts having ads for their competitors popping up on their Twitter page.
At this rate, it seems Twitter might soon add some sort of subsription model as that might be the only way anyone would have control over their accounts. Which might actually be Twitter's plan all along.
If you're annoyed at seeing a promoted ad in your follow list, blocking it will just mean another account will take its place. So, sorry, there's no running from Twitter's ads.