The third phase of Twitter's moneymaking schemes launched this week, with the introduction of @earlybird in addition to Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends. @earlybird is a Twitter account in which advertisers can offer deals exclusive to Twitter.
The very first @earlybird special, so to speak, is a buy-one-get-one deal on a film called The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which presumably needs all the deals it can get because it is not Inception. (Seriously, is anybody else just getting more excited about that the more they read about it?) In a blog post, Twitter said it will introduce a new @earlybird deal "several times a week," for now.
Twitter says it has lined up "tens" of advertisers so far, hoping for "hundreds" by the year's end. Interestingly, those advertisers already on board include our in-house favorites Groupon and Gilt Groupe.
At the time of this writing, @earlybird has about 54,000 followers, up from 48,000 just a few hours ago. It's a good use of Twitter's resources, and should avoid raising the ire of privacy wonks, since it's inherently opt-in. Follow @earlybird and get these deals, or don't, and you won't. Easy!