Promoted Accounts are the obvious paid counterpart to Twitter’s new “who to follow” [sic] feature. The feature picks out users you might be interested in following algorithmically based on whom you already follow.
Promoted Accounts simply adds a paid slot to that list, effectively letting brands pay for followers.
The second announcement is that Twitter has begun integrating its Promoted Products into third-party Twitter apps, starting today with HootSuite, which will run Promoted Tweets and highlight Promoted Trends. More third-party clients will add Promoted products soon. Twitter says it will share revenues from these ad units.
A lot of Twitter activity takes place off of Twitter’s site, so this is an important step. Twitter makes money selling access to its firehose, but advertising has always been expected to make up a serious piece of the company’s revenue model. Its recent attempt to get into ecommerce was a flop.
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