Twitter opens the door for advertising in its revised terms of service, which also spell out privacy, API and spam rules for Twitter users. Twitter also puts content ownership in the spotlight. While the tweets, or messages users post to Twitter, are owned by the users who post content, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said, "Twitter is allowed to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute your tweets because that's what we do."
Twitter Sept. 10 revised its terms of service, adding allowances for online
advertising and more clarity about content ownership, APIs and spam.
The microblogging service, which lets users post messages of 140 characters
or fewer and has become popular among celebrities, received
more than 50 million visitors in July.
The exponential growth of the site, which companies such as Dell and Pepsi
to market products, has Internet industry experts
calling for the service to be more professional and polished. The new terms of
service are a step in that direction.
For example, while Twitter's founders have appeared disinterested
in making advertising a revenue stream on
Twitter, the new terms of service say Twitter services may include
advertisements. Ads may be targeted to the content or information on the
services, queries made through the services, or other information.
"In the Terms, we leave the door open for advertising. We'd like to
keep our options open as we've said before," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote in a blog post
. However, the company said it has no plans
to announce regarding ads.
Twitter also added more detail to the content ownership question. While the
tweets, or messages users post to Twitter, are owned by the users who post
content, Stone said, "Twitter is allowed to use, copy, reproduce, process,
adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute your tweets because
that's what we do."
Twitter is also revising guidelines
for use of the ballyhooed Twitter API, which
scores of programmers have already used to extend Twitter, creating
applications that search, aggregate, track and analyst tweets. eWEEK profiled 20 popular Twitter apps here
Twitter, the target of a hack earlier this year
, also outlined
in broad and fine strokes its policies on user privacy, user passwords, abusive
behavior and spam.
To show how much more fleshed out the new TOS is compared with the previous
Twitter TOS, Twitter has saved a link to the previous policy here
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