Like Me? Follow Me.
There is now an ad service called Magpie which hooks up advertisers with Twitter users. The Twitter users get paid to post links in their Twitter streams and the advertisers get exposure on the social media site of the moment.
This pay-per-view Twitter advertising a bad idea for both users and advertisers. For users, it's a very quick way to lose followers who aren't going to want you to send them unsolicited ads for products and services you haven't tried.
For advertisers, you risk ending up paying for the following sorts of garbage:
Looking at the content of the tweets they seem to follow a pattern - 7 or 8 tweets on a particular topic such as TEFL courses, adventure holidays or van insurance. The subjects bear no relationship to each other and the user doesn't appear to use Twitter for anything other than feeding this stuff into his or her page.
In fact, the user could be anybody or nobody as there is no avatar and no profile information.
This Twitter user has four followers, who are either new to Twitter or using Twitter to market their own products. The user follows nobody so does not engage with the Twitter community and doesn't appear interested in engaging with the Twitter community. This profile is the Twitter equivalent of the arbitrage site or the thin affiliate - a profile set up to spam other people's marketing guff out to the world for money - except they won't make much because the ads pay out on the basis of how many people see them.
The reason that this user has not had this account banned by Twitter yet is because he has yet to start following people - if he were to follow hundreds or even thousands of people in quick succession then Twitter would have already identified the account as spam. Eventually, this is what is likely to happen anyway.
The result? Ads served through an account like this will end up nowhere, shown to nobody who is likely to care - so you're wasting your cash.