The Associated Press, the country's largest news agency, is apparently selling its Twitter feed to the highest bidder. The wire, which has over 1.5 million Twitter followers and operates from 243 news bureaus around the world, will be tweeting about Samsung's newest products during CES 2013.

As John Herrman reports:

The tweets will be labeled as "sponsored," but not in the native manner of Twitter'sofficial sponsored tweets. Instead of using Twitter's ad product, Samsung and the AP struck a deal on their own. It's an under-the-table deal as far as Twitter is concerned, and a type of arrangement that Twitter has been discouraging — and hoping to replace — for years.

It's also a move that, if successful, could turn big Twitter feeds into cash cows, and create a point of tension between the social platform and its users. Twitter, like all of the major social services, is headed for a conflict with power-users who look to monetize their own channels even as the social media companies struggle to find a revenue model. Facebook already prohibits third party advertising on company Pages, for example. The much younger Pinterest does not.

Samsung brokered a similar arrangement with Slate in 2011. The deal, however, comes as little surprise: Last year the AP reported losses of $193.3 million and, despite no information being released as to just how much money the AP will get from the deal, this current agreement will assuredly help with 2013 goals. As for Twitter, it won't see a penny from Samsung.

[via BuzzFeed]