Obama, Romney, Perry Take Note: Twitter Offers Political Ads

The ads will resemble “Promoted’ tweets, accounts and trends

Already a primary destination for breaking news and building a fan base, Twitter will now lend itself to political advertising, as reported by Politico.

Yes, that means the next “It’s Morning in America” or “Yes We Can” may be launched on the social networking site.

Twitter entered the advertising business last year with a focus on commercial ads. It then attracted attention over the summer as it beefed up its D.C. operations.

Now it will combine those two endeavors, permitting campaigns to buy ad space on the site, with five presidential hopefuls already signed on.

Twitter would not reveal which campaigns, but it has been widely reported that Mitt Romney is one of the first customers.

The ads will begin to appear within the week.

Spearheading the project for Twitter is Peter Greenberger, a former Google executive.

How exactly these ads will work requires some explanation, and will undoubtedly be more comprehensible when the ads physically appear.

However, the simple way of explaining it is that the ads will resemble “Promoted” items on the site.

Promoted account recommendations appear at the top of “Who to follow” section, promoted trends appear at the top of the Trends list and promoted tweets appear in search. The appearance of promoted items is supposed to match a user’s perceived interest.

As of now, the ads not appear in the “Timeline,” where users gets updates from the profiles they follow.

Do these ads follow Federal Election Commission rules?

Yes they do. Whenever a user hovers over the Promoted account, trend or tweet a disclaimer will appear. All political ads will also feature a special purple promoted icon to identify it as specifically political in nature.

Follow all that?

Given that the ads have not even begun, it remains to be seen how much politicians will use them.

What we do know is that the other candidates have a lot of work to do to catch up to Pres. Barack Obama’s 10.1 million followers. Neither frontrunner — Romney and Texas Governor Rick Perry — have topped 100,000.

Maybe Charlie Sheen has some ideas for them.