Following the rumblings of a new ad platform at this year's SXSW, Twitter has launched an ad system called "Promoted Tweets".

Following the rumblings of a new ad platform at this year’s SXSW, Twitter has launched an ad system called “Promoted Tweets.” The system intends to allow businesses to insert themselves into the conversation stream on Twitter, as it’s happening – and to ensure branded messages aren’t buried in the historical flow of Tweets from those you follow.  The ad system will also present Twitter with a revenue stream by which to monetize its model.

The system will launch via a phased approach.  Initially, the ads will start with search, with advertisers being able to buy keywords.  A Promoted Tweet will appear at the top of the search results when a user searches for that keyword. The system will be tested by pre-determined advertisers initially, including Virgin America, Best Buy, Sony Pictures and Starbucks.

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