The use of social networking services is booming with users of all ages and demographics spending an increasing amount of time each day on Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Facebook and MySpace, however, have both found themselves in hot water with users before over changes to privacy policies and advertising.
Twitter is set to wade into the unclear waters of advertising on social networks with an expansion of its terms of service to allow for advertising. The terms of service were modified on Thursday for Twitter users to specify that the social network may run ads.
Twitter founder Biz Stone wrote, "We leave the door open for advertising. We'd like to keep our options open, as we've said before."
Most websites sell advertisements to pay for services to be free for users and when a website is growing as fast as Twitter, more revenue is always in demand from investors and partners. Twitter's traffic is reportedly up 15 times compared to last year. The booming success of Twitter is also making it a target for hackers and nefarious users looking to attack the network.
Stone has said in the past that he is wary of annoying die-hard Twitter users with copious amounts of ads according to Reuters. Twitter has stressed that the changes to its advertising model are still in flux, and can change at any time.
Reuters quotes the changed terms of service reading, "The services may include advertisements, which may be targeted to the content or information on the services, queries made through the services, or other information. The types and extent of advertising by Twitter on the services are subject to change. In consideration for Twitter granting you access to and use of the services, you agree that Twitter and its third-party providers and partners may place such advertising on the services...."