When I first saw the latest Promoted Trending Topic this morning on Twitter I thought it was a bit odd: “Predators.” Given the times we live in, when I see that term now I tend to think of something more alarming than some kind of an animal or the like. But fear not, the topic is being promoted here simply to showcase the latest movie in the Predator series, called, yes, Predators. But there’s something else weird about this Promoted Trending Topic — it’s linking to Facebook.
As you can see when you click on the Promoted Topic, the top tweet is from the PredatorsMovie Twitter account. This promoted tweet reads, “They can hear you, smell you, and see you.#Predators in theaters Friday – http://bit.ly/amt8XE” — that bit.ly link takes you to a Facebook page where the trailer is located. So yes, Twitter is effectively promoting their rival Facebook thanks to this latest ad buy.
I’ve reached out to Facebook to make sure they’re cool with that. After all, Facebook wasn’t so kind to Twitter last month when Twitter tried to roll out a new friend connection feature with the massive social network — and it was promptly blocked. Both Twitter and Facebook said at the time that they were looking into the issue — but it still isn’t working.
As an interesting side note, you may notice now that “LeBron James” is currently the top Trending Topic on Twitter. That’s interesting because just this past weekend, the NBA paid to have his name be a Promoted Trending Topic. As I said at the time, that was likely a smart idea because of the massive amount of interesting (and undoubtedly Twitter searches) around James. The fact that his name has organically risen to the top proves that.
Update: Twitter takes the high road. “We’re totally fine with that (and btw, it’s not the first time and won’t be the last time),” a Twitter representative tells us.
Update 2: Interestingly enough, the promoted tweet has switched to one that instead links the actual Predators movie website.
“Advertisers can change the tweet and links as often as they’d like,” is what Twitter had to say on the matter.