Twitter Will Start Selling Ads – That Aren’t On Twitter

PromotedTweetsTwitter is finally giving its promoted tweets wings to fly beyond Twitter’s own walls.

In a blog post Tuesday, Ameet Ranadive, Twitter’s senior director of product, said that advertisers will be able to syndicate promoted tweet campaigns running on Twitter to non-Twitter properties using the same creative and audience targeting parameters.

Twitter didn’t get specific on how the simultaneous campaigns would work from a technical standpoint, but it seems likely that it will work as a liaison between brands and third parties to ensure addressability on both platforms.

Although Twitter only has two partners in its new venture thus far – tests are running now on social reader app Flipboard and Yahoo Japan will soon follow – the move is part of Twitter’s plan to prove to investors it can monetize beyond its monthly active user (MAU) base of roughly 284 million, a number that increased just 23% YoY in Q3 2014.

At the time, CEO Dick Costolo did his best to convince investors that Twitter’s audience is more than just its monthly active users, noting that “hundreds of millions of users … come to Twitter every month but don’t log in.”

Costolo hinted late last year that Twitter was in the process of building products that would capitalize on these users.

Twitter’s Fabric SDK was one step in this direction, which includes an embed feature that lets developers easily include tweets and timelines in their apps.

By now enabling advertisers to extend their promoted tweet campaigns beyond Twitter’s owned-and-operated mobile and web properties, the company is looking to show Wall Street that there’s monetization beyond the MAU.

“For the thousands of brands already advertising on Twitter, these new partnerships open a significant opportunity to extend the reach of their message to a larger audience,” Ranadive wrote. “Twitter syndicated ads will be seen by users within Twitter content sections on third-party properties, as well as within third-party content areas.”

Ranadive noted that the ads will fit natively into the third-party experiences around them.


Tweets already appear in a variety of places on the Internet – embedded into news stories and blogs and integrated into television shows –and now Twitter is hoping to make some money off of them. According to the company, tweets embedded outside of Twitter generated roughly 185 billion impressions in the third quarter of 2014.

Flipboard CTO Eric Feng told The Wall Street Journal that the promoted tweet unit has been “incredibly powerful in terms of expanding our monetization capabilities inside of our app,” but declined to get specific when asked how many of its 100 million users access Twitter content on Flipboard.

Twitter’s Q4 2014 earnings call will take place on Feb. 5.

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