Twitter is experimenting with selling ad space in your Following list

Twitter is experimenting with selling ad space in your Following list

William Shatner,Dwayne Johnson,Twitter Inc,Digital Marketing

It appears that Twitter is experimenting with selling ad space in users’ lists of accounts they follow, reports Marketing Land.

Actor William Shatner made a noise about it a little while ago, tweeting that he noticed that MasterCard’s account began showing up on his own Following list, even though he didn’t actually follow the credit card company on Twitter.

.@jack @safety Why am I following MasterCard when I didn’t add them? I do not appreciate this. pic.twitter.com/k91D6vTaXZ

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 30, 2014

Shatner also mentioned that fellow actor Dwayne Johnson’s Following list included MasterCard — even though Johnson only follows one user (Muhammad Ali), as his ‘following’ count indicates.

If I look at @TheRock‘s followers I see this yet it says he is only following 1 person. pic.twitter.com/rAbn7Jce7B

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 30, 2014

Other users, who aren’t celebrities, also noted the appearance of Mastercard and other accounts showing up in their Following lists.

Twitter’s Follower Campaign ads promote brands across Timelines, Who to Follow suggestions and search results, but this is the first time it has used space in Following lists.

Shatner tweeted to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and the company’s Safety account that this could be misleading:

.@jack @safety Do you understand that by implying that I follow these companies that it appears to be an endorsement?

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 30, 2014

The move could also cause promoted accounts to appear in a rival brand’s Following list. It’s already happened with Mastercard on Visa’s account:

Best one yet it’s on @Visa‘s list of followers!!! pic.twitter.com/riPqgEMv6l

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 30, 2014

It looks like Twitter has now taken down these ads from the aforementioned accounts.

We’ve contacted Twitter about these ads and will update the post when we hear more.

➤ This article originally appeared on The Next Web

William Shatner,Dwayne Johnson,Twitter Inc,Digital Marketing

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