Marketers are keeping a close eye on Twitter's "Promoted Tweet" and "Promoted Trend" ads and trying to figure out whether they're actually helping to boost a brand's performance. Companies such as Disney, Sony, Nike and Starbucks have bought slots, but so far there's little data by which to judge the promotions' true value. "I hope Twitter is doing research because I am definitely curious," said Ian Shafer, CEO of social-media agency Deep Focus. "I am sure right now there is a big early adapter discount going on with that program because no one knows [exactly] what it does."

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