#NoEscapeFrom2012: Twitter to Start Selling Political Advertising

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Bad news for those who use social media as a way to escape politics: Twitter is planning to sell political advertising in the run-up to next year’s U.S. election, and five Presidential campaigns are already on board.

The good news is that the advertising won’t take the form of the controversial insertion of tweets within your timeline, but instead come in one of three flavors: Promoted tweets, which will be marked with a purple checkmark and appear in search results; promoted trends, which will appear in the “trending topics” list; and promoted accounts, which will appear in “who to follow” suggestions. In other words, the advertising will be relatively easy to ignore if you’re already feeling information overload about who would be the one person to lead us out of these clearly terrible times we’re in (or, for that matter, where fault for said terrible times lies).

According to Twitter’s president of global revenue, Adam Bain, the advertising is a good thing for everyone: “We’ve had five years to watch and observe how people are using the platform organically and we know politicians are active on the platform, and we know that consumers enjoy the messages from those politicians,” he told Politico, adding “We’re excited about the election cycle, and we think that ads both in the timeline and in search are a huge opportunity.”

Although Twitter confirmed that five campaigns have already signed on to advertise, Bain declined to reveal their identities at this time.

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Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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