AP sells first sponsored tweets to Samsung

Twitter logo AP

A very old media company is turning to the technology offered by one of the very newest media companies in a bid to drum up new revenue. Earlier today, the Associated Press announced a deal under which Samsung will become the first advertiser to provide sponsored tweets to the news wire's primary Twitter account.

Lou Ferrara, the AP managing editor overseeing the project, said in a release accompanying the announcement that "as an industry, we must be looking for new ways to develop revenues while providing good experiences for advertisers and consumers." The ads, which will appear twice a day, were timed to coincide with the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas.

The Associated Press was created in 1846. In 2011, the company sustained a $193 million after-tax loss after taking a charge. However, the news agency was also feeling the effects of a third consecutive annual drop in revenues.

Buzzfeed is reporting that the arrangement bypasses Twitter's ad product. CNET contacted Twitter for comment and will update the post when we have more information.

Update: 2:15 PM ET Twitter, which had no official comment on the announcement, is not necessarily discouraging advertisers from pursuing similar deals as long as it does not involve an automated sponsorship which would approach the level of being spam. But the company also believes that these sorts of digital buys are the equivalent of banner ads with little insight into what's working, or the engagement level.

This article originally appeared on CNET.

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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.

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