Twitter runs ads…sorry, “interesting topical experience” referrals

Twitter has teamed up with Microsoft and Federated Media for ExecTweets, a service that as the name suggests, aggregates Tweets from executives.

Twitter’s involvement is two-fold. Twitter has given permission for the site to use the Twitter logo, and Twitter will promote ExecTweets on Twitter itself, presumably in the advertising box on the right of profile pages (the box that so far as only advertised in-house Twitter services.) In return, Twitter gets paid, a notable first for the heavily backed microblogging platform that so far has never made a dime from the site.

It’s a not a business model for Twitter yet, but it does mark a change from where Twitter’s Biz Stone swore that Twitter would be an advertising free zone. Although as Twitter claims, these aren’t ads, but “interesting topical experience” referrals. As the saying goes though: you’ve got to start somewhere.