Twitter has introduced its latest efforts to monetize its popular micro-blogging platform,, with a new scheme called Promoted Accounts that will let companies pay to be included in Twitter’s “Who to Follow” lists.
The company also said it will phase out its @earlybird deal feed in favor of its promoted products platform.
Promoted Accounts builds on the company’s existing Promoted Tweets platform, which it introduced in April. With the new addition, companies could pay to be included in the “Who to Follow” suggestion lists Twitter displays to its users.
Like Promoted Tweets, Twitter would serve up relevant Promoted Accounts based on your Twitter activity and preferences.
Twitter did not have specific information about when Promoted Accounts would be rolling out.
Twitter chief operating officer Dick Costolo discussed Promoted Accounts during a Tuesday appearance at the Mixx advertising conference in New York. During his presentation, he also said Twitter would be phasing out its @earlybird deals feed.
“We’ve always said we’d experiment and move quickly. Twitter’s @earlybird account will no longer be tweeting offers,” she said via e-mail. “We’re taking the learnings from @earlybird, including feedback from users and businesses, and investing that knowledge into our Promoted Products platform to help businesses grow their audience and provide great offers and information to users.”
At the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Jason Goldman, vice president of product at Twitter, said that EarlyBird and related programs were all part of the same advertising category.
“With all of our efforts, with Earlybird and with Promoted Trends, the advertising is the content. It has that engagement, the mental model for what we’re doing on the site,” Goldman said.
Twitter announced the ad-supported @EarlyBird Twitter feed in July. It was intended to highlight “special time-bound deals, sneak-peeks, and events” from advertisers. A week later, it launched its first deal in conjunction with Disney – a special deal on tickets for “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Earlier this week, the program offered 25 percent off Moxsie apparel.
Twitter has been experimenting with a number of advertising options since the launch of Promoted Tweets in April. That offering inserts advertisers’ tweets into search results. It launched with partners like Best Buy and Starbucks, so if a user searched for either company via Twitter’s search functionality, Twitter would display tweets from Best Buy or Starbucks at the top of the results page.
In June, Twitter added Promoted Tweets to its list of trending topics. The bottom of the list – which features the most talked-about topics on the site at any given moment – included a link to an advertiser’s product – an upcoming movie or product release, for example.
A recent report in The Wall Street Journal suggested that Twitter is now fetching more than $100,000 for these Promoted Tweets.
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