Posted January 26, 2011 10:27 am by with 3 comments

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Well, they’ve been a long time coming, but Twitter ads are finally ready to go mainstream…almost!

MediaPost reports that the self-service version of Twitter’s promoted tweets are being rolled out to advertisers–albeit a select few. So far, Clix Marketing’s David Szetela is the only one talking about it and he’s landed Guy Kawasaki as a Twitter ads client.

As part of the roll out, we’re starting to learn a few more details of how they work…

…Twitter’s self-serve platform requires the advertiser to enter a name, and date and time to run the campaign. It also asks for “interests” and “search keywords,” as well as a maximum bid and daily budget…the backend technology crawls tweets and user bios looking for the frequency of repeated words. The platform determines where to insert tweets in the user’s timeline, but it’s not clear if the algorithm takes into account Twitter followers. Nor is it understood how Twitter will rank the Promoted Tweets in Twitter streams.

What’s not confirmed is whether Twitter will score the ads based on how often they are clicked, RT’d, etc, though many suspect this will be the case. Otherwise, you’d end up with a system that’s easily gamed.

Right now, advertisers must commit to a 3-month campaign–presumably so Twitter can collect enough information about any changes that may be needed–and they can select from different types of ad payment options.

This really is Twitter’s revenue tipping point. Remember before Google has AdWords? Sure it was popular, but it wasn’t making any money. It wasn’t until Google figured out how to monetize its search results, that the company saw an explosion in growth.

The same’s about to happen for Twitter. It’s no wonder that the company has taken almost a year to roll out self service ads. Twitter’s entire future rests on the success of this program.

Next stop? A $4 billion valuation and a couple hundred million in revenue! Then? My bet would be an IPO in 2012. 🙂

  • Thanks for the shout-out, Andy. The platform is dynamite and we expect to use it to get some nice incremental business for our clients.

  • Dan

    Guess it’s about time twitter launched it’s own ad service. Seeing as others have been using the platform for ads for quite some time.

  • Definitely interested and excited to see where this will go. We just launched a couple of campaigns this week and there are certainly quite a few improvements that will need to be made to system, especially around analytics.