Twittter has begun publishing Promoted Tweets into the timelines of users who aren't necessarily followers of the brands posting the tweets, its latest push to build ad revenue.
The move has been anticipated for some time, but Twitter today began showing the ads and named some advertisers involved, including AMC Theatres, American Express, Best Western, Disney, HP, Lexus, Lionsgate, Movietickets.com, Pepsi, Red Bull, Salesforce.com, Sephora, Xbox and Yahoo.As it has with other developments in the past, Twitter is rolling out the effort slowly, first to a "single-digit percentage" of Twitter users worldwide and only on Twitter.com. A Twitter spokesman said they'll eventually be integrated into the timelines of users on desktop clients such as TweetDeck and mobile apps.
But Twitter is keeping vague on how, exactly, those ads will be targeted. Placement in timelines will be determined by "a variety of public signals that help determine which promoted tweets are most relevant," the company said in a statement.
The spokesman declined to specify which signals will drive the placement, but noted that any public information from a user -- who they follow, lists they're on, what they retweet, and how they interact with tweets -- could be a factor. Advertisers only pay when a user takes an action, such as a retweet, a reply or a click-through on a link.
Promoted tweets were first launched in April 2010, and the company announced an initiative in July where a group of partner brands could surface promoted tweets at or near the top of their followers' timelines.