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Twitter to Sell Ads

11:15 AM -- Twitter is launching an advertising program -- or, as The Wall Street Journal called it, "the four-year-old company's first significant attempt to turn its microblogging service into a profitable business" -- this week to some of its users.

That's right: Hell has frozen over. The Angels have won the Pennant. Twitter has a revenue strategy.

Under the ad program -- which is called "Promoted Tweets" -- advertisers can purchase keywords, and when users search for those keywords, they see the ads at the top of their search results. Eventually Twitter will start inserting the ads into the Twitter feeds of users it thinks might be interested.

“The idea behind Promoted Tweets is that we want to enhance the communications that companies are already having with customers on Twitter,” Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief operating officer, told The New York Times.

Twitter is beginning its rollout of Promoted Tweets today, to 2 percent to 10 percent of its users. It's starting out with about 10 advertisers, including Starbucks, Best Buy, and Virgin America.

An interesting detail of the program: Twitter will grade each ad based on "resonance," which takes into account the number of people who saw, re-tweeted, or replied to it, among other things. If an ad's resonance score is too low, Twitter won't use it.

— Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

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