Twitter will start serving you promoted tweets from accounts you don’t follow

At a Twitter breakfast this morning, CEO Dick Costolo shed some light on the company’s continuing advertising strategy.

Soon, the service will start rolling out Promoted Tweets to all users accounts, whether or not the user follows the brand in question.

“We’re expanding Promoted Tweets,” Costolo said. “You’ll start seeing them from companies you don’t follow. We’ve been super cautious about that, we didn’t want to sacrifice user experience.”

Recently, Twitter announced it would be pushing Promoted Tweet ads to the top of the stream, making commercial content more prominent and likely more profitable.

Here’s how the new ads will work: I don’t follow Best Buy. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be seeing any tweets from Best Buy. But if Best Buy pays for a certain kind of advertising on Twitter, I’ll be seeing tweets from Best Buy when I log in.

“Right now, when you log in, you’ll see accounts to follow or similar content in the right column,” said Costolo. “Promoted Tweets will work the same way. It will be based on the interest graph of the accounts you follow. So you should be seeing the kind of content you’re already interested in.”

In addition to showing Promoted Tweets to users who don’t follow a particular brand’s Twitter account, Costolo noted that the company is also working on sharing ad revenue with third-party developers that serve Promoted Tweets in their Twitter apps.

The company is also working on more refined ad targeting, and Costolo says Twitter already sees robust engagement around advertising content on the service. He noted that Virgin had its fifth largest sales day ever due to a Twitter campaign.

“We continue to see great engagement rates… The health of the business is great.”


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