Twitter to roll out Promoted Tweets to all users’ timelines in Q4

Twitter will expand its Promoted Tweets advertising service to all users’ timelines in the fourth quarter of this year, the company’s director of platform said last week.

Twitter launched Promoted Tweets last April and tested the service in consumers’ timelines last November by rolling it out to a limited number of HootSuite users.

“Promoted Tweets, to date, have been a very small portion of what we do, but it’s only because it’s been in search,” said Ryan Sarver, director of platform at Twitter, during a session at the Adobe Omniture Summit 2011.

He added that Twitter thinks Promoted Tweets will be the company’s equivalent of Google’s AdWords, which places paid ads alongside organic search results.

Twitter will perform “a bunch of targeting to find out who you are as a user” to determine “the right Promoted Tweets to get in front of that user,” said Sarver.

He added that Twitter measures a Promoted Tweet’s “resonance that finds out how users engage that content. [The tweet] has to maintain a certain level of resonance, otherwise the promotion, or the ad, gets dropped.” He did not state explicitly what data Twitter will consider in scoring “resonance,” but he emphasized that the number of retweets is a measure of engagement.

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