Yesterday Twitter took another small step towards promoted advertising. Working with HootSuite to step lightly in this area, how long will it be before full on promoted ads arrive on Twitter and into the stream of user updates. Really, we all expect this to happen sooner rather than later, but this test is just another step in arriving at ad revenue for Twitter.
(Twitter Blog) When we launched Promoted Tweets in April, we outlined our plan for gradually rolling them out in all of the places people experience Twitter: first in search on Twitter.com, later in search through our partners, and eventually in the user timeline. We’ve accomplished the first two steps and, starting today, we are beginning to test syndication of Promoted Tweets in user timelines. Initially, we are testing these with our partner, HootSuite.
As we have done since the beginning of our Promoted product efforts, Twitter is taking a deliberate and thoughtful approach to this test. We’re carefully looking at how Twitter users react to and engage with Promoted Tweets in the timeline. We want to display Promoted Tweets in a way that’s both useful and authentic to the Twitter experience.
During this testing period with HootSuite, we will experiment with where and when Promoted Tweets are shown in the timeline. Not all HootSuite users will see Promoted Tweets and those who do may see different Promoted Tweets in different places in their timeline. As with Promoted Tweets in search, we will display Promoted Tweets in the timeline when they are relevant. Similar to our Promoted Account recommendations, we use several signals to determine a Promoted Tweet’s relevance to a user, including the public list of whom they follow. We will expand the rollout only when we feel we’re delivering a high-quality user experience.
Since their introduction, users have engaged with Promoted Products on Twitter at rates that far exceed typical forms of online advertising. This next phase will bring Promoted Tweets to a wider audience and help even more people discover interesting accounts, people and information they may otherwise have missed.