Huffington Post Adds Paid Tweets

Huffington Post is selling advertising space to marketers who weigh in on articles via comments and tweets.

The Web site said in AdAge that no advertisers have signed on yet and that it would help them figure out how to best inject their messages into relevant parts of the site. Greg Coleman, HuffPo’s president and a former Yahoo (YHOO) and AOL (AOL) exec, said a company seeking advertising around the World Series might tweet about baseball, for example.

“You cannot use the social engagement for the purposes of really hawking your products,” he told AdAge. “The advertiser is really put in a position where they need to add value to the conversation that’s taking place.”

The initiative is already generating discussion, not surprisingly, on Twitter, where some users wondered if the extra revenue would go toward compensating the site’s unpaid bloggers. “Losing respect for them, min by min,” Casey Rentz tweeted. Others were more sympathetic: “I have decided that sponsored tweets (a la the HuffPo) are okay, as long as they are clearly marked. I may be a brand tweeter one day,” Jill Elswick wrote.

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