As we consume more and more content via real-time streams that come to us through Twitter and Facebook and newer platforms, how does that affect advertising? Everyone wants their ads to look like just another form of content, but that’s a lot harder than it sounds.
IIt’s no secret that more and more of the content we consume is coming in the form of constantly updated real-time streams, never-ending rivers that pour through Twitter and Facebook and aggregation apps like Flipboard. It’s not a new phenomenon, but there’s no question it has been accelerating, and new offerings like Medium — the publishing platform from Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone — as well as others like Pinterest and BuzzFeed and Tumblr have helped ramp up the rate of adoption, as has the increasing shift to consuming content on mobile devices.
As appealing as these kinds of services are for users, however, they still have to be paid for somehow, which raises the question: What happens to advertising in a world made of streams?
As Choire Sicha notes in a post on this topic at The Awl, it’s great to look at the clean and stripped-down design of a site like Medium or an online discussion community like Branch or a lightweight blogging platform like Svbtle, but part of the reason they are so attractive is that they have no ads. While some new ventures like App.net are hoping to build platforms that are funded by users and the developers who build for them, content-oriented networks and services typically have to rely on some kind of advertising — a challenge that both Twitter and Facebook are confronting as well, with mixed success....