Twitter July 14 officially christened its @earlybird account by offering two-for-one movie tickets to see the "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" film from Walt Disney Studios.
The microblog retweets offers advertisers have created solely for Twitter, broadcasting deals to the account's current 55,000-plus followers. Should @earlybird's followers retweet these deals, the people who follow them will also see the promotions.
The advertisers determine availability, amount and price of their offers, paying Twitter a cut of revenues earned from products they sell using @earlybird.
Twitter is now promoting "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," a new feature film from Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films that opened July 14.
@earlybird followers in the United States can get a two-for-one deal on tickets for the movie, starring Nicholas Cage, by following the links from the Disney Pictures account tweets marked in green in the @earlybird account Web page.
The links take users to this special Fandango Website touting the movie. Followers can enter their zipcode, show time, two tickets and the code word "APPRENTICE" to get two tickets for the price of one.
Graves said @earlybird followers should see exclusive deals from Twitter's ad partners in entertainment, fashion, technology, beauty, travel and other areas.
Twitter is also inviting users to suggest products or events featured on the account by tweeting an @reply to @earlybird.
Forrester Research analyst Augie Ray said @earlybird may just be the start of something big. He expects Twitter to offer special deals in different verticals or combined with Twitter Places to localize the deals much like Groupon currently does.
Twitter said that while @earlybird is starting with coverage across the United States, it will eventually "explore location-based deals in the future."